Truck Driver Destroys Historic Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, a truck driver drove his truck through a historic covered bridge in East Pikeland Township in Pennsylvania, causing substantial damage.

The truck driver was allegedly following his GPS’s directed route across the Rapps Dam Covered Bridge on Rapps Dam Road. The driver was reportedly traveling from Route 113 to Route 23.

Centerton Nursery truck driver Antoine Branham, 37, said that he attempted to cross the bridge but once he was inside, he realized his truck did not fit, but he plunged ahead anyway, tearing down most of the bridge’s support beams and causing extensive damage to the bridge’s structure.

“He said he panicked. When he realized he had struck the bridge he panicked and accelerated the truck and got all the way over to the other side,” Chief James Franciscus of East Pikeland Twp. Police told WPVI.

“It got through, but it took everything with it,” Cpl. Ben Martin of the East Pikeland Township Police Department told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Branham told authorities he did not notice the bridge’s 10′ clearance signs.

Branham told authorities that he obtained his CDL 30 days ago.  The day of his accident was only his 4th day on the job, and he had never driven a truck until 5 days prior to the accident.

The bridge is 106-feet long by 14-feet wide. In 2011, it underwent a $1.5 million rehab.

The bridge was built in 1866.  It stands 106-foot long, 14-foot wide,  In 2001, the bridge got a $1.5 million facelift.

Branham is facing numerous vehicle and vandalism charges for the incident.


Sources:
WPVI
The Daily Journal
Action News 6