Driver William D.W. Scott

NTSB Meeting Will Determine Probable Cause of Skagit River Bridge Collapse

The July 15 meeting in Washington, D.C., will be available as a live webcast. A section of the bridge collapsed after a truck hauling an oversize load struck its superstructure last May.

The National Transportation Safety Board will meet July 15, starting at 9:30 a.m. EDT, to determine the probable cause of the collapse on May 23, 2013, of one section of the Interstate 5 highway bridge across the Skagit River in Mount Vernon, Wash. At about 7:05 p.m. PDT, a truck hauling an oversize load and traveling southbound struck the top of the bridge. One of the bridge's four spans, the northernmost one, collapsed into the river seconds later.

The truck made it across to the other side and stopped, but two passenger vehicles fell into the river and two other vehicles were damaged. None of the vehicle occupants were seriously injured.

NTSB explained in June 2013 why the pilot vehicle preceding the truck could pass the bridge with its 16 foot, 2 inch clearance pole untouched but the 15 foot, 9 inch oversize load made contact: The truck's driver had moved to the right lane, where the bridge's superstructure was lower, because another tractor-trailer was passing him in the left lane and he felt "crowded," he told investigators.

The bridge was constructed in 1955 and consisted of four structurally independent spans. It had been hit by other trucks, including as recently as October 2012.

A live webcast of the meeting will be available. A link to the webcast will be available here shortly before the start of the meeting.

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