Texas DMV: Motor carrier that struck bridge didn't have permit to carry over-height load
SALADO, Texas - *Update* The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says that based on a review of its records, as well as the inspection report issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety, it has determined that the motor carrier that struck the bridge in Salado didn't have the legally required permit to carry an over-height load. It says it continues to work with partner agencies on the investigation into the tragic collision.
This is an update to a previous story. The original version is as follows:
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating why the driver of an oversized truck crashed into an I-35 overpass in Salado Thursday morning.
The oversized truck knocked two construction beams off the FM 2484 overpass, which then toppled onto four other vehicles.
One person died and three others were injured in the wreck.
TxDOT said the 14 foot bridge had the proper signage on it.
"It appears right now that a truck that was too high ran into the overpass and the ensuing beams fell," said Bob Kaufman, spokesman for TxDOT.
Authorities said this bridge has been under construction for about eight months. The new bridge is even taller than the previous one and drivers who travel this route should be aware if their vehicle is too big to get by.
"First of all, the truck drivers know the heights of their vehicles. That's information that they provide to our DMV prior to moving out on the road with a load. If the height of their vehicle exceeds the height of the bridge, they're going to be diverted," said Ken Roberts a spokesperson for TxDOT in Waco.
DPS troopers said they are looking into whether this driver ignored protocols when he traveled down this stretch of I-35 and under a bridge too short for his tractor trailer.
"All of those measurements will take place during the investigation itself. We have troopers that specialize in commercial motor vehicle enforcement that can actually look at this and look at the logbook and also check the bill of lading and the measurement of the vehicle too," said DPS Public Information Officer Harpin Meyers.
Oversized vehicles must obtain a permit from the DMV in order to travel on Texas roads. New technology at the DMV will then determine a safe route for the driver to take.
"It enables drivers to go out, kind of map out their trip and determine certain heights at certain places in their route. If they need to reroute because of a height restriction they can certainly do that," said Kaufman.
DPS said it will take weeks to complete this investigation.