The Texas Department of Transportation is reminding truckers to “know your load” after two oversized load bridge strikes occurred in the same place in less than an hour.
The bridge strikes occurred on Thursday afternoon in Midland, Texas.
The Midland Police Department describes how they occurred:
At 3:09 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020 an oversized load traveling WB on IH-20 struck the Cotton Flat Rd. Bridge. The driver fled the scene and was apprehended at IH-20 and Loop 250. The driver was identified as Ray Hannah of Midland, Texas with 3S Westex Trucking and Transport. Hannah was cited for over height and overweight-group of axles and received warnings for fail to secure heavy machinery, fail to secure load, tire load exceeds weight rating-federal violation, over allowed gross weight, striking the bridge and over tire size limitation.
While investigating the first crash, around 3:40 p.m., a second oversized load struck the bridge causing minimal to no damage. The driver of that oversized load was identified as Bryan Niemtschk of Gary, Texas with Lighting Services. Niemtschk was cited for over height, failing to inspect emergency equipment warnings for striking the bridge and no warning devices.
Both vehicles were placed on a federal out of service order.
THIS IS GOING TO SUCK FOR MIDLAND FOLKS
KNOW YOUR LOAD
MIDLAND COUNTY: A bridge hit has forced closure of the overpass of Cotton Flat Road over I-20.
I-20 was shut westbound for a time but is open now. No timeline on reopening.
— TxDOT Odessa (@TxDOTOdessa) September 25, 2020
I-20 westbound reopened around 8 p.m. on Thursday. The Cotton Flat overpass is closed until further notice.