WSDOT files $17M lawsuit in Skagit River Bridge collision

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from

I-5 bridge collapse over Skagit River
I-5 bridge collapse over Skagit River

(Photo: KING)

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation has filed a $17 million lawsuit to recover costs related to the 2013 Skagit River bridge collapse.

The lawsuit names four parties as responsible: the truck driver whose oversized truck hit the bridge; the driver’s employer; the pilot car driver; and the owner of the metal shed being transported.

In November, the Washington State Patrol issued a report on its final findings from the collapse, saying that the driver hit 11 arced sway braces on the bridge during the accident that sent two cars into the river.

The Washington State Patrol Major Accident Investigative Team cited the truck driver for negligent driving, stating the bridge collapse resulted from a series of miscalculations, mistakes and errors by the truck driver and his employer, including:

• The truck driver did not know the accurate height of his oversized load, and received a permit for a load two inches lower than the one he carried.

• The truck driver failed to research the route to ensure it could accommodate his over-height load. Had he taken the advanced safety steps required of all drivers who haul oversized loads, he would have known the left southbound lane of the bridge provided adequate vertical clearance for the load.

• The pilot-car driver was on the phone as she crossed the bridge and did not notify the truck driver of the height clearance pole striking the bridge.

• The…

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