A pedestrian bridge collapsed over a Detroit freeway Friday morning, killing one person and shutting down the Southfield Freeway in both directions.
The driver of a Dumpster hauler died from injuries sustained in the accident. Authorities believe the truck struck the bridge with its rear component raised, causing the collapse onto the Southfield Freeway. The road was closed from Interstate 96 to Joy Road, reports Fox News.
Michigan State Police Lt. Michael A. Shaw told reporters that the driver, whose identity has not been revealed, worked for a waste-hauling company. Shaw said “momentum is enough to take down the bridge” when being hit by a truck.
Shaw says no one was on the bridge when it collapsed onto the freeway.
“When the boom struck the bridge, it actually pulled the bridge down with it,” Shaw said. “It’s just the beginning of rush hour, so nobody else was struck. If this would have happened maybe an hour later it would have been a lot worse.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation and state police said they weren’t sure how long the roadway would be closed off for. Traffic was being forced off the Southfield Freeway in both directions, officials said. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Strafford was among the stranded drivers, however he was not injured in the accident, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.
MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross described the bridge as being in “fair to good” condition before the accident, and stated that the bridge would be removed from the freeway once police completed their on-scene investigation. She didn’t immediately know the age of the bridge, but said it wasn’t replaced when the freeway was rebuilt in 2009.
“It still had many years of service left,” she said of the bridge. “It’s only down because a truck pulled it down.”
Southfield Freeway Closed After Bridge Collapse Kills 1