Washington State Files $17 Million Suit for Bridge Collapse
Chris Welsh, Esq.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has filed a $17 million lawsuit for Skagit River Bridge Collapse of 2013. the lawsuit seeks damages to repay the costs of response and repair from over-height truck collision that caused the bridge to collapse into the river.
In May 2013, a large tractor trailer with an over-height load collided with overhead braces of the bridge, severely damaging it and causing a collapsed that left two vehicles and the bridge in water. Thankfully there were no deaths, only minor injuries. The bridge, located 60 miles
north of Seattle, has since been repaired.
The suit names defendants William Scott, the truck driver; his employer, Mullen Trucking LP; Tammy Detray, the pilot-car driver and her company, G&T Crawlers; and the owner of the metal shed being transported, Saxon Energy Services Inc (truckinginfo.com).
However, the suit should be a challenge, as there are conflicting theories as to who is at fault. Ultimately, there is a lot of grey area and blame on both sides (NY Times). State police investigations cite negligent driving and point to miscalculations made by the driver and employer. However, the National Transportation Safety Board found its own problems with the Washington State DOT, including its insufficient route planning and an inadequate permit process for oversize loads (Seattle Times).
The Skagit Bridge collapse is not an isolated event in the last few years. Many of America’s bridges are deteriorating due to old age and poor upkeep, most were built more than 60 years ago.. Reportedly, 65,000 are in need of repair (USA Today).
For more information on the issue and how you can help, visit Transportation For America.