A tractor-trailer truck was left dangling from on overpass on the Cross Bronx Expressway after it overturned Monday afternoon, snarling traffic for hours on drivers began hitting the road to return home from the holiday weekend.
The truck overturned soon after 12 p.m. near the intersection of the Sheridan Expressway, authorities said.
The driver, Pablo Lopez of Florida, was traveling south on the Cross Bronx Expressway when he lost control and hit the car in front of him, fire officials said. Two other cars were also hit in the accident.
Lopez told NBC 4 New York he was driving in the middle lane when a small sedan clipped him in the front, and that's when he lost control, careening through the concrete barrier and toppling down.
Lopez said he clung to the steering wheel as he shimmied out of the cab of the truck, then jumped onto the Sheridan Expressway and landed on his feet.
He was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with minor injuries, authorities said. He left holding a bag of clothing soaked in fuel that rained down on him as he hung from the cabin, which he showed to NBC 4 New York.
He told NBC 4 New York outside the hospital he split his head on the visor when his cab flipped, and he showed the seven stitches he received. He said he had some neck pain, but was otherwise OK.
Two other people also had minor injuries in the crash, police said.
Lopez said he was driving from Connecticut to New Jersey after delivering tomatoes Sunday. He said he's been driving trucks for 18 years.
Fire officials say the crash could have been more devastating.
"I think it helped that there was no cargo inside the tractor trailer -- it's not as heavy as it could have been, so the weight of that might have done more damage and possibly could have flipped over onto the Sheridan Expressway," said FDNY Chief Vincent Masco.
Traffic on both roads was snarled for hours because of the overturned truck. The Cross Bronx Expressway was reopened in both directions by Monday evening, and the northbound Sheridan Expressway ramp to the Cross Bronx was back open.