In May 29-June 4 issue
By Greg Wells
Times Journal Managing EditorABOVE: Mired in mud and in a tight spot, it took a truck used by the Army to recover tanks to drag out the 18-wheel big rig from where it had become wedged in Caney Creek about a mile downstream from where the driver had entered the creek bed.
It took most of the following day to free the tractor trailer rig that Jesus Jardon drove almost a mile down Caney Creek on Tuesday, May 20.
The Florida man says he turned down the creek and drove along its bed looking for a way out after a GPS mapping system gave him a wrong direction.
Deputy Clete McAninch said the towing company arrived Tuesday evening but had to go back for specialty equipment to drag the 18-wheeler from its watery resting place.
"They had to bring in a tank recovery vehicle like the army uses to get tanks out when they are stuck," the deputy said.
Candido's Towing and Recovery brought in the recovery vehicle and a small front-end loader, along with workers carrying chainsaws.
The crew had to cut down trees along the bank, and then grade off the approach in order to drag the rear of the trailer out of the creek.
They then hooked to the front of the truck and literally dragged it around to face back up stream.
"They just hooked into the front wheel and pulled it around," McAninch said. "I'd have never thought that wheel could take that much stress."
After that they hooked the two trucks together and the semi made its way back up the creek, though not nearly as quickly as it went down it, according to those present.
Some had estimated Jardon had been traveling downstream as fast as 30-35 miles per hour.
McAninch pointed out the twist in the bed as the trailer went around one of the curves going back up West Wilson Road. The rear of the trailer twisted beyond 45 degrees as the inside set of wheels road up on the embankment as the truck pulled out.
"He went out the good road," McAninch said. "The road he came down on was worse than that. I just don't know how he got it down there to begin with."
As he watched the workers drag his truck free, the driver was overheard saying he had felt that it was all just a dream. But he said he woke up and realized it was all too real.
The trucker said he had followed the instructions of the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) equipment in his truck as he was leaving Stephens Pipe and Steel after dropping off a load.
For whatever reason the driver's path took him east on Ky. 80 then down Ky. 910, just across the bridge over the Cumberland Parkway before turning down the narrow dirt land that lead him to the creek.
Another deputy at the scene, Nick Bertram, suggested the GPS system just felt there needed to be an on-ramp for the parkway at that bridge and sent him where a ramp should be.
No information on the cost of the extraction and repairs to the truck were available, nor was Jardon's employment status with the Florida firm he was driving for.