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A September crash into an overpass across Interstate 96 left thousands of drivers scrambling to use alternate routes as the highway was temporarily shut down and part of the roadway was closed indefinitely until repairs can made.
The crash took place during the evening rush on Wednesday the 27th. An eastbound semi-truck hauling construction equipment—which was later determined to be four inches over height for the road—crashed into the bridge that carries Pleasant Valley Road across the interstate.
The impact was caught on dash camera video by another truck and shows the equipment tearing a sign from the bridge as it’s smashed and scattered across the road. Fortunately, no one was injured, although several vehicles had to dodge debris.
The driver of the semi was ticketed after the crash. Michigan State Police cited him for careless driving after determining that the equipment wasn’t strapped down properly and said that this, combined with the motion of the truck, allowed the load to shift. A police official said properly securing the load would have prevented the crash.
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) inspectors determined that half of the bridge would need to be replaced and began demolition immediately. Pleasant Valley Road will remain closed in both directions at that location for some time, possibly six months, but the bridge demolition was quick, and I-96 was reopened before rush hour that Friday morning.
Traffic will be affected when repairs are made, but MDOT has no timetable for this yet.
If this story sounds familiar, there’s good reason. A similar collision last year wrecked a bridge in Ann Arbor where 8 Mile Road crosses US 23. In January, a crash with very similar circumstances destroyed an interstate bridge in Indianapolis: A hydraulic car crusher partially deployed while being hauled and rose to a dangerous height. A woman driving alongside that truck was seriously injured during the crash.
Only a week after the I-96 crash, a raised dump truck hit the bottom of an overpass across I-75, closing that road temporarily. It’s not known whether that bridge will need repair or demolition.
These bridge-strike incidents have caused major inconvenience to motorists and great expense to the state. But at least they haven’t resulted in many major injuries or losses of life. In 2015, truck crashes resulted in more than 3,500 deaths and 83,000 serious injuries. Truck drivers are somewhat safer than others overall, but when trucks and cars tangle, there is usually an unhappy ending for the car and those in it.
If you’ve been in a crash caused by a truck, turn to an experienced Detroit truck accident lawyer. At David Christensen Law, our team knows how to approach this kind of case, and we’re available to give you a free consultation to discuss your situation. Give us a call at 248-213-4900 or contact us online today to schedule yours.