Truck Driver to Blame For Washington D.C. Bridge Collapse, Police Say
Washington, D.C. – New information has emerged regarding the pedestrian bridge collapse in Washington D.C. this week that resulted in a major highway being shut down for more than 12 hours.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported, the incident occurred Wednesday, June 23 at approximately 11:52 a.m. in Northeast Washington, D.C. just north of Interstate 295 on DC-295.
According to the official police report, a Mack semi-truck was traveling southbound on DC-295 in the far right lane with its subframe raised when it struck the bridge.
The impact caused the structure to come loose from its moorings and collapse onto the roadway below, trapping the truck underneath the rubble and spilling approximately 25 gallons of diesel onto the highway.
According to investigators, the subsequent chain reaction crash involved a BMW traveling southbound in the middle lane, which swerved and hit the left jersey barrier.
A large section of concrete from the pedestrian bridge fell on top of the BMW, smashing the roof and front windshield.
A Ford pickup truck traveling behind the Mack semi-truck was struck on its hood by the highway exit sign affixed to the pedestrian bridge and a Honda Accord struck the pickup.
Five people were treated for injuries following the incident.
Thankfully, no one sustained any life-threatening injuries.
The truck driver — whose identity has not been released — told officials he had left a nearby concrete plant and had “forgotten” to lower the subframe.
Photos from the scene reveal the truck was owned by Frank’s Scrap Metal.
A vehicle traveling northbound on the highway at the time of the accident captured the moment of impact on dash cam.
WATCH it below.
Bridge Rated In ‘Poor Condition,’ Did Not Meet City Standards
During a press conference following the incident, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stated the bridge was last inspected in February 2021.
Bowser said there were no structural concerns at that time.
However, according to The Washington Post, the bridge was deemed to be in “poor condition” following the February 2021 inspection.
Further, it did not meet Washington D.C.’s current standards for overhead structures over roadways to have a height clearance of 17’5″.
The bridge — what was built in 1956 — had a height clearance of approximately 14’4″.
“Due to continuing impact damage to the prestressed concrete T-beams, spalls and delaminations in the soffit, and deterioration of the walking surfaces and undersides of both pedestrian approach ramps, consideration should be given to replacing the bridge,” independent contractor Mercado Consultants said in a report following the bridge inspection for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).
The 65-year old bridge has had “no major rehabilitation” since it was built, Mercado Consultants reported to DDOT.
It is unclear if the driver will face any charges.
TransportationNation.com will continue to keep you updated on new developments.