Friday, May 24, 2013

Feds Arrives On Scene of Washington Bridge Collapse

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Most eyewitnesses agreed: it's a miracle no one was seriously injured, let alone killed.

A semi truck carrying an oversize load slammed into an overhead girder on a bridge spanning Washington State's Skagit River May 23, causing a section of the bridge to collapse into the water below.

Outside of Mount Vernon, passenger vehicles traveling the four-lane Interstate 5 tumbled into the water after a portion of the decades-old bridge gave way. The driver of the semi truck believed to have caused the collapse remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, according to the Associated Press.

Three people were rescued from their vehicles 25 feet below the bridge in the Skagit River, but all sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Driver Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck traveling down I-5, en route to a camping trip, when the accident happened.

"I hit the brakes and we went off," Sligh told AP.

Built in 1955, the bridge was inspected twice in the last year, according to Lynn Peterson, Secretary of Transportation of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

"It's an older bridge that needs a lot of work just like a good number of bridges around the state," she said.

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