Inexperienced Trucker Destroys Historic 1880s Bridge with Sheer Ignorance

Around 135 years ago, the town of Paoli finished the construction of an iron bridge. It was able to hold vehicles of up to six tons. In December 2015, the bridge was one of the last historical landmarks in the town, but the construction will fail to see 2016 unchanged.
Inexperienced Trucker Destroys Historic 1880s Bridge with Sheer Ignorance 4 photos
Hystoric bridge destroyed by a truckHystoric bridge destroyed by a truckHystoric bridge destroyed by a truck
There is only one person to blame for the destruction of this 130-year-old bridge. And that person’s name is Mary Lambright, Bangshift reports. In case the title, subtitle or pictures didn’t explain clearly enough what exactly Ms. Lambright did, here you have it: she drove a truck that was too tall and too heavy for the bridge to carry.

Honest mistake, right? Wrong. Because Mary is a freshly minted CDL truck driver and should have known better. In her own police statement, the woman admitted seeing the six-ton weight limit sign that also stated “no semis,” but proceeded anyway because, hear this, she didn’t know how many pounds six tons stand for.

This might be ok for the ordinary Joe or for a regular driver from some place where the metric system is used, but it’s definitely wrong when coming from a trucker, even if it’s an inexperienced one.

We might also add that she got her CDL certificate on December 5, 2015. So she didn’t even have one month behind the wheel of a semi before pulling off this irresponsible feat.

The truck driver claimed she frequently drove on the bridge. With a regular car, that is. Things get different when you’re at the wheel of a 53-foot box trailer pulled by a 2015 Volvo Semi Truck. Ms. Lambright was supposed to haul 43,000 pounds of bottled water and the whole assembly weighed approximately 30 tons at the time of the accident. That’s five times more than the maximum weight limit allowed on that particular bridge.

Apparently, the Police asked the 23-year-old trucker why she proceeded in driving on that particular bridge in spite of signs telling her semis weren’t allowed to cross. Her response baffled law enforcement officers: she didn’t feel comfortable backing up and decided on trying to go through the bridge.

We are curious as to why the driver didn’t stop when the trailer began ripping open and didn’t attempt to back up then, to avoid further damage. The report states that she didn’t stop and kept going even after the top of the trailer began to be ripped apart by the bridge. The weight of the semi made the 135-year-old construction collapse and the damage is irreversible and cannot be repaired.

Ms. Lambright and her 17-year-old cousin escaped from the truck’s cabin unscathed. No other vehicles were involved in the incident and no pedestrians were harmed. There was only material damage, as you can tell from the pictures in the gallery, provided by the Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement.


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