Atlanta Police officer rescues driver who ran off bridge

Officer Jimmy Cenescar used his patrol car as a battering ram to save a motorist who drove off a northwest Atlanta bridge early Thursday morning. ATLANTA POLICE DEPT.
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Officer Jimmy Cenescar used his patrol car as a battering ram to save a motorist who drove off a northwest Atlanta bridge early Thursday morning. ATLANTA POLICE DEPT.

Credit: Atlanta Police Dept.

Credit: Atlanta Police Dept.

An Atlanta Police officer didn’t plan on using his patrol car as a battering ram early Thursday morning, but his doing so helped save a life.

Officer Jimmy Cenescar had to smash through a locked gate to rescue Kenneth William, who drove off a bridge at Marietta Road and Thomas Street in northwest Atlanta at around 1 a.m., according to an APD press release.

Arriving at the scene, Cenescar was flagged down by a witness saying William was still in the vehicle some 50 feet below the bridge, which spans the site of the Norfolk Southern-Inman railyard as well as the CSX Transportation REDI Center. But Cenescar found that a large, locked gate blocked a gravel driveway leading to the site of the wreck.

“I had to take action quickly to get that driver out of the vehicle because I knew under that bridge was a train track,” Cenescar said in a video released by APD Friday.

Upon getting permission from a supervisor to ram the gate, Cenescar was able to reach William, render aid and remove him from the wrecked vehicle, police said. Video from inside Cenescar’s patrol car shows his repeated attempts to breach the gate, followed by his reaching the injured driver.

“The incident was intense,” Cenescar said, “but during the times I was trying to ram through that gate, everything seemed like it was going in slow motion. I attempted to knock through the gate about three times and on the third time, I was successful.”

William was cited for driving with a suspended license and speeding. He was transported to an area hospital in serious, but stable, condition with a broken arm, concussion and a facial laceration.

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