NTSB: Driver felt 'crowded' before bridge collapse

Print
Email
|

by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on June 11, 2013 at 7:12 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash.  -- The driver of an oversized load has told investigators he felt "crowded" by a passing vehicle before striking an Interstate 5 bridge that collapsed.

A preliminary report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says that the driver of the oversized load moved to the right in order to accommodate a passing truck and trailer. The right side of the bridge has a lower clearance.

SLIDE SHOW: New photos of collapsed bridge released by NTSB

Surveillance video of the incident shows another large truck next to the load that hit the bridge.

The Mullen Trucking vehicle was headed to Vancouver, Wash.

The truck was led by a pilot pick-up truck.  The NTSB said Tuesday that truck had a clearance pole 16-feet-2 inches high.  The oversized load height was 15-feet-9 inches.  According to investigators, the edge of the bridge hit by the truck was 14-feet-8 inches.

In a statement released last week, pilot car driver Tammy DeTray said her pole never hit the bridge.  She stated she was legally on the phone with her husband at the time of the collapse and was “horrified” by what happened.

As for questions on how the pole could have missed the bridge, despite being at least a foot taller than the structure’s lowest point, the NTSB, Mullen Trucking and DeTray’s representatives declined to comment Tuesday.

Other pilot car drivers told KING 5 it is possible the pole missed the bridge, citing the momentum could have pushed the object down.

Meanwhile, a temporary crossing at the site of the collapse is expected to be ready by next week.

 

Print
Email
|