A DRIVER whose van crashed through a bridge and into the River Tamar was rescued by a quick-thinking Gunnislake resident, it has emerged.
The driver of the white Ford Transit van was helped to safety by the resident and taken into the rescuer's home after his vehicle crashed off the New Bridge crossing into the river on Saturday morning.
The 30-year-old driver, who worked for highways maintenance contractors May Gurney, was taken to Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth with suspected shoulder problems after the crash at around 9am.
The car hit the bridge wall and crashed into the river – but the driver managed to free himself.
A spokesman for the police said the van plunged into 10 to 15ft of water, around 100ft from the bridge.
A spokesman for May Gurney confirmed that the van belonged to their company but was unsure who the driver concerned in the accident was.
When the emergency crews arrived the van was wedged in the river bed and was not moving, said the police spokesman.
The A390 has been closed and a spokesman for Devon County Council highways said the bridge could remain closed for at least a week while repairs were made to the bridge's stone parapet.