Driver Of Pilot Car In I-5 Bridge Collapse On the Phone At Time of Accident

Detectives Looking For Second Truck
Photo Credit: NTSB
Detectives Looking For Second Truck
Photo Credit: NTSB

The driver of the pilot car that was involved in the I-5 bridge collapse in Washington is sharing her side of the story.

The pilot car driver , Tammy DeTray, issued a statement to the public though a public-relations firm.  DeTray said she was “horrified” by the accident and that she takes her responsibility as a pilot car driver “very seriously.”

According to the press release, DeTray said that at the time of the accident, she was on her cellphone with her husband, talking about a business matter.  DeTray said she was using a hands-free device.  

DeTray was driving a pick-up truck with an indicator pole that was set above the clearance height of the truck. She said that the indicator pole did not touch the bridge at any time.   The statement released by DeTray’s public relation’s representative did not indicate whether the pilot car was in the right or left lane of the bridge.  The bridge’s crossbeams were two feet lower in the right lane, which is the lane the truck was in when the bridge was struck.

DeTray said that if the pole had struck the bridge, she would have alerted the driver.

Yesterday, the NTSB announced the were seeking a second truck they believe was on the bridge around the time of the collapse.

Investigators are looking into whether or not a second truck, pulling a white trailer, passed the over-sized load in the left lane as the bridge collapsed.

Investigators don’t believe the second truck was responsible for the bridge collapse, but they do believe the second truck was struck by the other truck’s over-sized load.  The top of the second truck may have sustained damage.

“It appears that when the oversize load struck the bridge it shifted to the left and struck something to the left,”  Trooper Mark Francis said.

An NTSB spokesperson said they’d like to speak with the driver of the other truck to get his or her statement regarding the accident.