The truck driver who destroyed a covered bridge was given only a written warning by police for the incident after her former employer spoke out against her actions.
The incident happened on November 16th in Princeton, Illinois. Since then, investigation has revealed that the 64-year-old female truck driver from Alabama missed her turn and was directed to use the bridge by her GPS. As she attempted to cross the bridge, the rig struck several overhead beams and caused a portion of the roof to collapse. The collapse caused the northern walls of the bridge to bend outward.
The company who employed the driver, Wynn Logistics, issued a statement about the incident, noting that they would terminate her employment and “make sure that companies who want to hire her will know about it.” Since then, the company temporarily deactivated their Facebook page, reactivated it, and changed their comment section settings to be a bit stricter. A representative of the company also hung up after declining to comment, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Wynn Logistics plans to “facilitate the restoration of the bridge to its original state,” with the help of insurance. The extent of the damage to the bridge is still unknown as the Illinois Department of Transportation conducts an ongoing inspection of the 160 year old structure. IDOT says the inspection could take weeks, or even months, before they can make an official recommendation for repairs.
The bridge features height and weight restriction signs on either side of the crossing. These signs were put in place in 2021, after another driver tried to cross the bridge thanks to GPS directions. That damage was minor compared to the recent incident.
Officials are considering the installation of bars over the roadway that mirror the height of the bridge as a way to warn future truck drivers that their rigs will not fit.
“They can restore the bridge, perhaps, but can you restore people using their heads when they’re approaching the bridge?” said Peter Nelson, who grew up in the area.