SEALY (FOX 26) - After an accident claimed the life of a young girl, TxDOT says that the bridge located at US 90 and Hwy 36 will be demolished.
The bridge will be closed Tuesday morning as the demolition will then begin.
Police are treating the incident as a homicide, saying part of the truck involved was suspended when it should've been down.
When officials arrived, they found a white car crushed under a chunk of concrete. The disposal truck from Texas disposal systems had crashed into the overpass at Highway 36 and Highway 90, which led to part of the bridge collapsing onto Leah Bullock's car.
Her nine-year-old son, Breandon Gardner, made it out of the car safely but her 12-year-old daughter, Bre’in Bullock, died at the scene.
"As a result of it being struck by the truck, the portion of a bridge fell onto the car. We are we are still investigating this. the last the last inspection of the bridge was in April 2015," said Veronica Beyers with Texas Department of Transportation.
Sealy police said the 18-wheeler had just offloaded a dumpster and the boom was still raised as the driver, identified as 72-year-old Carl we G, sped down Highway 36, ignoring the warning system. Officials said this bridge has been involved in previous accidents with inattentive drivers but that it was slated to be rebuilt with a higher clearance for trucks in 2017.
"This wasn't a structural deficiency of the bridge that caused the failure today. This was a damage event, and if the bridge was several feet higher, we would not have had this issue but we can't plan for an accident of this type," said Judge Tim Lapham of Austin County.
Now, the county is pushing for a faster timeline to raise the bridge.
The driver of disposal truck has been identified as 72-year-old Carl Weige. Police said he had just dropped off a dumpster and that the ramp that the dumpster slides off of was still elevated. Police believe that elevated portion was what hit the bridge. Authorities also said a witness behind the truck reported that the truck hit the warning system for the height level of the bridge and kept going. Police also said the witness has the entire incident caught on tape.
On Thursday night, the townspeople of Sealy held a vigil to mourn the death of Bre'in Bullock.
"You never know when accidents is going to happen and I just wish it wouldn't have happened to a child," said MaryAnn Maxwell, a Sealy resident who attended the town vigil.
"We're just here tonight to honor their family and the memory of Bre'in and just say Sealy has your back, and we're praying for the whole family," said Jonathan Brandenburg, a pastor with Life Bridge Community Church.
The mom was taken to the hospital in critical condition but sources say she is now stable and healing from a shoulder injury.
The disposal truck was owned by Texas Disposal Systems. The company has said that they will be conducting their own investigation.
The company released this statement on Thursday:
“We regret a TDS truck was involved in an incident impacting an overpass in Sealy, TX. We have been told there was a fatality and are saddened by the loss resulting from this incident. Our deepest sympathies go to the family-members and friends. An investigation is currently underway by local authorities. TDS is cooperating fully and will also be conducting its own investigation. The truck driver, as reported to us did not sustain major injuries. We will be in communication with the community and public as relevant information becomes available. “
Police said TXDot engineers are evaluating the structural integrity of the bridge’s remaining sections before deciding when to reopen Hwy 36, which runs under the bridge.