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GPS leads big rig onto 6-ton limit bridge, which collapses into river

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A tractor-trailer is partially submerged in the Petit Jean River in west central Arkansas after it drove onto a 6-ton limit bridge with about 80,000 pounds of cargo. (Courtesy: YELL COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT)

OLA, Ark. — The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported Thursday that crews were working to remove an 18-wheeler from a river in Arkansas after the driver, relying on his GPS, drove over a nearly 90-year-old bridge before it collapsed.

Yell County Director of Emergency Mangement Jeff Gilkey said authorities responded to the bridge just after 8 p.m. Wednesday when the driver tried driving the truck across the Dale Bend Bridge near Ola.

Gilkey told the newspaper that the driver had likely gotten lost and was following his GPS through narrow dirt roads before he got to the crossing.

The truck remained in the Petit Jean River on Thursday morning after continuing to sink overnight, “completely submerging” the trailer, Gilkey said, adding that it would be an extensive recovery and the scene was “quite a mess.”

The county is working with the driver’s insurance company to get the truck out “as soon as possible,” Gilkey said.

Photos show the bridge collapsed under the weight of the truck, tilting the vehicle on its side as it hit the water, the county sheriff’s office said. Gilkey said the driver was “a little shaken up” but wasn’t injured and managed to escape.

Photos show weight restriction signs ahead of the bridge are listed at 6 tons. County officials said the truck was around 40 tons and carrying chicken products from a nearby farm.

Gilkey told the newspaper that he was surprised the driver made it to the bridge because narrow roads that often flood in the winter are the only way to get there.

Removing the truck might require bringing in equipment from outside the state, he said.

“Our biggest concern now is remediation and getting a new bridge,” Gilkey said, adding that it’s used often by local residents and outdoor enthusiasts visiting the area.

The paper reported that the Vincennes Bridge Co. built the bridge in the 1930s, according to website Bridgehunter, which catalogs historical information about U.S. bridges.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Giovanni Socci

    January 31, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    OMG!!! My heart goes to this driver,I think he panicked,took his chances going forward bc he knew backing up would ve been very hard.
    His career may be over,and from the sound of it,he was a newby.
    If you are ever in this situation,DO NOT PANICK,stop,the police will come and help you back out,block traffic,whatever it takes,the police prefers to give out a citation,if need to,than writing a whole one or two days report..
    I am sorry for this driver,we old hands have been in tough situations too,but we managed to keep our wits about us.

    • Judy Ochs

      February 1, 2019 at 10:03 am

      Let me guess… He was using a Rand MC Nally gps…

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Averitt Express associates provide more than 4,100 hours of community service

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Averitt associates gather to celebrate another successful community outreach effort. The 40 for 40 Community Challenge began in 2011 as a way to commemorate Averitt’s 40th anniversary. (Courtesy: AVERITT EXPRESS)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Averitt Express associates recently combined to provide more than 4,100 hours of community service as part of the carrier’s annual 40 for 40 Community Challenge.

From October 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018, associates served 4,166 hours, with 87 facilities across Averitt’s system giving to various efforts including clothing, food and toy drives, and blood donations.

The total hours were a 40 for 40 Community Challenge record.

“The 40 for 40 Community Challenge is an important tradition for our team, and the amount of service we gave as a team shows the quality of associates we have,” said Gary Sasser, Averitt’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I’m proud of the commitment our associates have to serving in our communities, and I’m even more excited about the potential we have to make a difference throughout our network in the future.”

The event began in 2011 as a way to commemorate Averitt’s 40th anniversary. Since that time, each facility across its network is encouraged to donate 40 hours of service to various charitable causes between October and December.

For more information about Averitt’s 40 for 40 Community Challenge, visit .

 

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Indiana police expect 400-500 semis to take part in ‘slow roll’ Thursday

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Estimates are that traveling at 45 mph it would take the trucks over two hours to complete the planned route. (The Trucker file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police say they expect from 400 to 500 semitrucks on Interstate 465 during Thursday’s “slow-roll” protest in Indianapolis.

Multiple media outlets in the Indianapolis area have reported on the scheduled protest, which organizers say is designed to bring attention to government regulations that truck drivers say call “unfair.”

Specifically, protesters are targeting the electronic logging device mandate.

Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Matt Ames told television station WTWO/WISH that extra troopers will patrol I-465 during the time of the protest, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

He said police expect the protest will be peaceful, but troopers will monitor the situation.

“Once they hit 465 and pull out, that’s where they’re going to do their slow roll. You know, 45 to 50 mph is what they’re going to be doing,” said Amber Furry, an Indiana truck protest organizer.

Furry said drivers will circle I-465 twice.

Traveling at 45 mph, it would take about 2 hours and 20 minutes to circle all of I-465 twice.

Similar protests earlier this month drew 10 to 15 trucks in Dallas and more than a dozen trucks along I-57 in Illinois, according to news reports.

Truck driver Donald Day said the tracking devices have forced drivers to have shorter amounts of time to deliver products to their destination.

The devices, protesters say, are burdensome, expensive and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Ames said the protest organizers had reached out to the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division about the event.

“They have told us they will obey traffic laws, they will not occupy the left lane and they will try to leave enough gaps between the trucks to allow traffic to safely merge on and off the interstate,” Ames said.

 

 

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Diesel heads up 4 cents a gallon to $3.006

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Diesel prices jumped 4 cents a gallon to ring up Tuesday at $3.006. (The Trucker file photo)

For the past several months, including the end of 2018, all the “experts” said oil (and consequently diesel) was going nowhere but up. It had to, they reasoned, after prices had almost literally scraped the bottom of the barrel.

Then oil and diesel both went down for weeks. After that it stayed the same.

Now diesel prices are finally up — 4 cents a gallon — to $3.006 a gallon Tuesday from $2.966 a gallon last week.

Normally, diesel prices would have been announced Monday, but since it was President’s Day, diesel prices were released Tuesday.

And it may be a testament to how long prices had been going down or stayed flat that none of the U.S. Information Administration’s 10 reporting regions were clocking $4-a-gallon diesel, not even California, where diesel was ringing up at $3.739.

Also, four regions were still below $3 a gallon as of Tuesday.

And although 4 cents a gallon for the on-highway national average was a significant jump from the week before, the Lower Atlantic and Midwest regions each jumped 5.5 cents a gallon. Diesel in the Lower Atlantic sector went from $2.872 last week to $2.927 Tuesday while in the Midwest, diesel prices went from $2.849 last week to $2.904 today.

The Gulf Coast had the lowest prices at $2.809 a gallon, up 3.3 cents from the week prior.

Is this the start of an upward trend? It’s hard to know what oil prices will do in a global economy that is teetering since what seems like a bandwagon jump out of the European Union.

Meanwhile, oil was trading up:

U.S. crude added 48 cents to $56.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after gaining $1.19 on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 16 cents to $66.34 per barrel, The Associated Press reported.

For diesel prices by sector, click .

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