Video shows rescue of driver left dangling off bridge

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CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-Team now has exclusive video taking you inside the rescue after a local driver crashed an SUV off the side of a local bridge and ended up trapped in the vehicle dangling over the edge.

It happened in Cleveland on Pearl Road over railroad tracks in August; the police body camera video has just been released to the I-Team.

The video shows officers scrambling up to the car hanging over the edge of the bridge tangled up in torn fencing.

Callers to 911 had said, "I just witnessed an SUV go up over the curb and slam into the side fence. It's hanging over the bridge." And, "I was just driving by and seen a car that is right over balancing on the bridge."

The first officers you see try to get the driver to respond, saying, “Hey, buddy. Hey, my man.”

But no response.

Police can be heard also saying, "We're not exactly sure. He might not be alive.” And, “Careful moving this thing because if this car flips..."

Police and Cleveland firefighters then put themselves in danger trying to reach that driver.

Firefighters stood on the ripped fencing, tiptoed on the edge of the bridge, and they even tied a chain from a fire truck to the SUV to keep it from crashing down.

They finally had to cut out the driver, but they pulled him out alive -- 21-year-old Gabe Harper.

His mom tells us he has been in the hospital for weeks, and he still needs major surgeries. But again, he’s alive.

Holly Harper, clearly grateful to rescuers, said, "I'm just so thankful for what they did." She added, "It was by God's grace and mercy that he really protected those guys out there so they were able to get my son out of there."

In the end, a mother, witnesses, and emergency crews were all left to wonder how the crash happened and what kept it from being even worse.

A police report shows the crash still under investigation. The driver’s mother says no alcohol or drugs were involved, and the report shows none suspected.

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