Truck gets stuck under bridge

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jun 07, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- A truck driver damaged his tractor trailer by trying to squeeze his big rig under a small CSX bridge Friday morning.  Henrico Police shut down traffic at Darbytown and Oakland Roads as a result.

"It’s typical.  We know exactly what has happened,”  Candice Francis, of Devcon Contracting, Inc., said.  "I have seen some that I know have to write them off with their insurance."

As office manager of Devcon Contracting, Inc., Francis said she sees truckers repeatedly taking a chance and getting stuck under the bridge.

"Sometimes, we see rigs pulled out where they actually fall apart," Francis said.  "They need straps to take it out."

Responders had to let the air out of the truck's tires to remove the tractor-trailer, which took about four hours.

A CSX spokesperson told CBS 6 that inspectors found no structural damage to the bridge.

"That's pretty serious right there, but that separates the good drivers from the bad drivers,” Clentis Branch, of CJS Trucking, said.

We showed video of the damaged rig to Branch, who's been driving trucks for 25 years.

"There's plenty of signs marked out there," Branch said.  "I mean he was just being irresponsible.  A lot of good drivers out there would've seen that sign and wouldn't have tried to make that call."

According to state law, VDOT must post at least two signs, one on each side of a bridge or structure.  Those signs must be placed at least 1500 feet before a driver enters that bridge or structure, but it has to be less than 14 feet high.  We found that VDOT was in compliance.

Police charged the driver, 55-year-old William Hickman of Tennessee, with reckless driving.

"We know the restrictions there, and we're very much aware of it," Francis said.

However, Francis blames part of the problem on drivers paying too much attention to GPS, and not the road.

"It’s a natural instinct.  You need to make a quick decision.  Am I going to go through there?  Or am I going to try to turn around ask questions or just completely re-route,” Francis said.