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Washington State Patrol Cites Truck Driver In Skagit Bridge Collapse


The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013.

The State Patrol announced the $550 fine Monday and released its final report into the bridge collapse. The report concluded the oversize load was two inches over legal height.

The investigation concluded that a pole on the pilot car leading the oversize load did hit the bridge. But instead of moving to the center lane where there was enough clearance, the truck’s driver stayed in the right lane.

The over-sized load struck 11 of the bridge’s ‘sway braces’ causing the bridge to collapse and plunging other vehicles into the river below. Amazingly no one was killed.

The pilot car driver was on the phone with her husband at the time of the accident, but was not cited.

A previous NTSB investigation found several “deficiencies” contributed to the accident. They included insufficient route planning and a failure by the Washington Department of Transportation to post low-clearance warning signs before the bridge.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."