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Man rescued from base of I-985 retaining wall
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Gainesville police are investigating a man’s fall early Thursday from an Interstate 985 ramp after his vehicle broke down on the roadway.

The man, whose name wasn’t available, had been driving southbound when he traveled onto Exit 17 heading toward Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway in South Hall County, said Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, police spokesman.

He apparently left the car and, at some point, fell off the roadway down a 30-foot retaining wall facing the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, Holbrook said.

“At this time, it appears the individual was impaired and/or intoxicated,” he said.

Then, another motorist traveling up the ramp struck the unattended vehicle, unable to see it in the dark, Holbrook said.

The first driver didn’t turn on any vehicle lights before leaving it. The incidents took place at about 5 a.m.

“Fortunately, once he got out to investigate, he heard cries for help from the (fallen man) and notified emergency personnel,” Holbrook said.

The second driver, whose name also isn’t known yet, wasn’t injured, but his car was significantly damaged, the spokesman said.

Gainesville fire responders “used a ladder truck and ropes to perform a high-angle rescue to bring the patient back up to the road,” said Capt. Keith Smith, spokesman for the department.

The man was taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.