Man reunites with NC firefighters who rescued him after 75-foot fall from bridge

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Jeremiah Cribb reunited with the men and women who saved his life last week when he mistakenly jumped off of the I-85 bridge in Rowan County.

Salisbury firefighters rescued him from the dirt bank he was laying in after he fell 75 feet. He had pulled over his FedEx truck to help a stranded motorist when he mistook the bridge for a median and jumped.

He was emotional seeing his rescuers Thursday morning.

“The same as I first saw when I was down there,” Cribb said. “Happy! I’m very happy to see them.”

Firefighters Kinston Nesbitt and Jacob Vodochodsky were the ones to buckle up and scale down the side of the bridge.

“He was standing up,” Nesbitt said. “I was kinda shocked. I was like are you OK? He said yeah, just sore.”

These firefighters had never done a rescue mission like that before, but they train for it by repelling down a 40-foot tower outside of the fire station. Thanks to that training, they were able to bring him to safety 20 minutes later.

Jeremiah Cribb meets his rescuers (WBTV)

“As soon as his feet hit the ground he said do I have to go to the hospital?” Ashley Melchor, with Rowan County EMS, said. “I said you’re getting on the stretcher and we’ll talk about it in the ambulance!”

He suffered three fractured ribs and a partially collapsed lung.

Cribb refuses to accept the title of “hero.”

“I’m not a hero at all because if this would have went any other way nobody would’ve known my name and I was just doing something I do on a regular basis,” he said.

The men and women who saved him disagree.

“To stop on a bridge on an 85 mile an hour roadway at 3 in the morning in the rain,” Salisbury Fire Department Batallion Chief Nick Martin said. “He stopped to help people and that’s what we do. I think in many ways some of our guys feel like they were rescuing one of their own.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for Cribb. He is looking into a charity to donate some of those proceeds.

Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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