BOSTON (CBS) — A Tewksbury man survived a scare unscathed Friday when a 30-by-45 foot American flag fell from the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge and wrapped around his Toyota Camry.

“I couldn’t see,” Valeriy Demchev said of the moment when the flag suspended from the bridge’s suspension cables came loose from ropes the state Department of Transportation had used to attach the banner in honor of Independence Day.

Surveillance video shows the giant flag falling 100 feet onto Demchev’s sedan.

The flag wrapped around Demchev’s car, but he was able to slow to stop with little damage, including the loss of his back bumper.

Officials said the flag was put up for Independence Day and planned to take it down in a few days. The ropes holding it up, however, frayed before they could remove it.

Demchev has taken the whole incident in stride, saying he wasn’t angry at the time, just hungry. That’s because the mishap made him late for breakfast.

“It’s not good when flag is going down,” he said. “Flag should be up.”

DOT has said the state agency will help Demchev pay for car repairs. The agency is also reviewing ways to make sure flags attached to the bridge stay in place.


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