Texas DPS: Flatbed responsible for Texas bridge incident

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 3/27/2015

At approximately 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, a tractor-trailer struck the FM 2484 overpass on I-35 in Salado, Texas. According to Texas Department of Transportation Spokesperson Veronica Beyer, several beams were knocked out of place and fell onto vehicles below. The bridge was under construction at the time of the crash.

One person was killed and three others were injured, Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Trooper Harpin Myers told Land Line. Of the injured, two were released from the hospital and the other was admitted with non-life-threatening injuries. The person killed was driving a pickup truck.

Earlier news reports suggested that a tractor-trailer had struck the bridge and numerous sources suggested the C.R. England truck pictured underneath the rubble was responsible for the crash.

According to C.R. England Spokesman Dave Allred, told Land Line that the England truck was not responsible. Allred is director of management services and executive assistant to CRE’s president. CRE made the following statement in response to the crash:

“Contrary to early reports, C.R. England has learned from our driver and from others involved at the scene of the collapse that the C.R. England truck did not strike the overpass. We have also learned that it was another vehicle that struck the overpass that caused the collapse on to the C.R. England truck and other vehicles. Fortunately, C.R. England’s driver has been released from the hospital with only minor injuries. We at C.R. England would like to express our condolences and continued thoughts and prayers for the individuals and the families of those hurt or killed in this tragic incident.”

According to Trooper Myers, a flatbed truck hauling a small crane was responsible for the crash. The driver escaped with no injuries. Myers did not have any more information regarding the truck as the full report has not been released. No citations have been issued to the responsible driver as of press time. An investigation into the crash is pending.

The vertical clearance of the bridge is 14 feet and 1/2 inch, as noted in a TxDOT press release. Three signs were posted indicating a clearance of 13 feet and 6 inches – one sign two miles from the bridge, one sign one mile away, and the other at the exit. According to Byer, the signs were labeled lower than actual height to leave room for error. TxDOT labeled the tractor-trailer as oversized in the press release.

TxDOT Spokesperson David Glessner informed Land Line that the bridge is sound and has not collapsed. According to Glessner, construction will continue and the project is moving forward. Both southbound and northbound lanes on I-35 were reopened at approximately 4 a.m. on Friday, March 27.

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