Trapped truck driver’s son called her while she dangled from the MMMBT

Posted at 11:23 PM, Apr 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-09 07:18:56-04

Almira Ribic's tractor-trailer was flipped on its side, hanging over the water. Her son, Amer called his mom, while she was stuck inside the truck for an hour and a half.

"She was hurt, she was panicking," Ribic said at their Newport News home. "She looked down and she see, she on top of water, you know. a lot of things go through your head."
Newschannel 3 showed him the photos state police took of the rescue. As difficult as it is for him to look at the pictures, he can't help but feel grateful.

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"Very thankful, very thankful," Ribic said. "She's not a rookie driver, she's been doing this for since 2006."

As she hung over the edge of the bridge, waiting to be rescued, Ribic says his mom thought about jumping into the water.

"She's a good swimmer. She can swim," Ribic said. "She wasn't afraid of water, she was afraid of something falling on her head as she jumps and knock her unconscious."

Amer drives trucks as well for the family business. He knows what can go wrong. He wouldn't go into detail about what happened to his mom as she drove southbound on the Monitor Merrimac Bridge this morning. He'll only say it was a mechanical issue in the back of the tractor-trailer.

"The way the truck was in condition, it looked like she would never survive," Ribic said. "It's like one of those scenes from movies."

Almira Ribic is in the hospital tonight, Amer visited her and says she's doing better. The family thanks the Newport News firefighters who put her in a life jacket and harness and pulled her out of the tractor-trailer.

They feel blessed this frightening scene didn't have a deadly outcome. "We believe God was on her side this time definitely," Ribic said.