Trucker Hauling Oversized Load Blames Escort for Millions of Dollars in Bridge Damage
Evansville, IN – A trucker is blaming the escort company after the oversized load he was hauling caused significant damage to a bridge along U.S. 41 on Tuesday.
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officials say the Pigeon Creek Bridge along U.S. 41 sustained “millions of dollars” in damage when it was struck by an oversized load hauled by Dayton, OH-based KTK Transport.
The semi-driver and owner of KTK Transport, Kemranbek Temirov, believes the accident should have been avoided by the escort company, Tennessee-based Ready 2 Roll Pilot Car Escort.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle said the accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon after the big rig’s escort missed a turn, yet the caravan still continued.
As it traveled underneath, the flag car’s pole struck a truss on the bridge.
According to Ringle, the escort driver radioed to Temirov and warned him not to proceed.
However, Temirov did not hear the radio and continued on, Ringle says.
Temirov was hauling what was described as a “large electric motor.”
The oversized load struck multiple trusses comprising the structural integrity of the bridge, INDOT reports.
US 41 Pigeon Creek Bridge: Inspectors say that this will likely require a closure that could extend for several months. Damage estimates are still not complete, however our staff believes the damage to be quite extensive.
We will share more information as it becomes available. pic.twitter.com/56UPKMQAUq
— INDOT Southwest (@INDOTSouthwest) January 22, 2020
INDOT closed the bridge and expects it could be closed for months.
INDOT spokesman, Jason Tiller, says the state expects to fund the necessary repairs by collecting from the parties responsible.
“We’ll pursue financial responsibility from the parties involved,” Tiller said to the Courier&Press.
Police gave Temirov two tickets, one for expired registration and the other for breaking the terms of the oversized permit.
However, Temirov says he was not at-fault for the incident and should not be held liable.
“They messed everything up,” Temirov asserted about the driver for Ready 2 Roll Pilot Car Escort.
Temirov contends he paid a third party to hire the escort company and obtain the permits on his behalf.
According to the Courier&Press, Temirov indicated he spoke to his insurer, which told him Ready 2 Roll would handle the claims.
Tiller says INDOT inspectors are expected to fully assess the damage next week.
“We’ll do a cost analysis, how much is it gonna be to repair this bridge,” Tiller commented to local news outlet 14News. “Is it more cost-effective to replace it? Those are all questions that have to be asked. So the most important thing is figuring out exactly what we are dealing with first and then go from there.”
Pigeon Creek Bridge was originally constructed in the 1940’s and recently underwent nine months of rehabilitation work before it reopened in July of 2019.