Off-route truck strikes California bridge

| 5/24/2002

On May 22, a trucker's heavy load took out part of a bridge being built over the Foothill (241) Toll Road near Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Leo Peter Borst, of Huntington Beach, was cited for veering from his state-approved route for oversized loads.

The police said the trucker was avoiding freeway rush hour because he was in a hurry to deliver a bulldozer to a construction site. The morning rush hour accident injured a bridge worker and closed the roadway for eight hours.

Trucking company officials at Marco Rentals in Santa Ana said they didn't know why Borst strayed from his course. "Right now we're looking into it and trying to figure out what went wrong. That's all I can say," spokesman Tim McVay told Land Line.

Borst was supposed to drive along the Riverside (91) Freeway to the Orange (57) Freeway, then to the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway. The wreck twisted one steel beam and buckled several others. Lumber from the 15-foot-tall bridge's falsework was strewn onto the roadway.

A spokesman with the city said they will likely pursue damages from Marco Rentals - noting the bridge clearance was actually 11 inches taller than state highway officials require for the route. "I expect somebody to pay for this mess," Wheeler told news reporters.