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Hurt, trapped motorist unnoticed for day

By Associated Press
Published January 15, 2005

ORLANDO - A motorist survived a 30-foot drop from Interstate 4 in his pickup, then was trapped in the vehicle for more than a day before he was noticed and rescued, authorities said.

Joshua Wayne Smith, 30, of Frisco, Texas, was lifted out of the crushed cab of a Ford F150 pickup Thursday after Orlando firefighters cut away the roof, officials said. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with head injuries.

Smith, an insurance adjuster doing work in the area, is thought to have crashed through an I-4 guardrail in downtown Orlando early Wednesday, with his pickup tumbling about 100 yards on a steep embankment and landing a few yards from a lake.

He had been seen about 12:30 a.m. leaving a nightclub, Orlando police Sgt. Brian Gilliam said.

A trucker reported seeing the wrecked pickup at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, Gilliam said.

"He was extremely lucky," Orlando fire Assistant Chief Rudy Johnson said. "He could easily have been ejected. He could have been crushed. He could have drowned. There were so many variables."

[Last modified January 15, 2005, 01:02:06]


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