Trucker killed in Alabama bridge accident; trucks detoured

| Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Crews worked throughout the weekend and into Monday near Birmingham, AL, to finish tearing down a damaged interstate bridge. The bridge span buckled Saturday morning when a tanker truck driving north on Interstate 65 jackknifed into a bridge support after reportedly swerving to avoid a passenger car.

Workers were trying to clear debris so one lane of I-65 North and a ramp toward Tuscaloosa could be reopened Monday. The other northbound lane is expected to reopen later this week.

The driver of the truck, Tim Dyson of Killen, TX, was killed when the rig burst into flames. Heat from the explosion caused the steel girders in the overpass, which carries I-65 southbound traffic, to buckle and bend the ramp. The driver of the car was treated at the scene and released.

As cleanup continues, the state DOT advises drivers to seek alternate routes. Commercial traffic and overweight/oversize permitted loads traveling north on I-65 are asked to detour by following I-459 North, then I-20 West back to I-65 North. Southbound trucks are asked to follow I-20 East, to I-459 South back to I-65 South.

The section of I-65 South immediately around the destroyed connector will remain closed until the overpass is rebuilt. The damaged bridge is expected to be replaced within six months.

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