Fatal car crash leaves man dead after truck strikes bridge

An Oklahoma man is dead after a fatal accident in which a truck hit a bridge in Oklahoma City. The incident occurred on July 31, when the driver of a large truck carrying a heavy shipping container struck the Northwest 23rd Street bridge. The impact sent the truck's load flying onto the roadway, landing atop the 49-year-old victim's vehicle and killing him. Authorities say that the shipping container involved in the fatal car crash was filled with heavy weights and other gym equipment.

Investigators are still working to determine exactly how the truck driver smashed into the bridge. Department of Transportation officials say that the bridge is clearly marked as 13 feet 9 inches high, and an additional 2 inches' clearance are also included. The bridge is properly marked according to the law -- however, it does not appear that there is a sign identifying the clearance height on the bridge itself. Instead, there are signs within a quarter-mile of the bridge giving information about its height.

Authorities in Oklahoma say they may consider changing the signage at the bridge, however, in light of the tragic fatal car crash. Investigators report that additional signs closer to the bridge may soon be installed, even though the current signage is in compliance with official regulations. It is not clear whether any charges will be filed in the case.

Even though the city may have been in compliance with transportation requirements, it appears as though the truck driver was not properly informed about the height of the bridge. In such cases of poor signage or road design, municipalities may sometimes be held responsible for the outcome of a fatal crash. That means that families who have suffered the loss of a loved one may be able to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver as well as the negligent road designer.

Source: KOCO.com, "Investigation into fatal crash at railroad bridge continues" Brian Shlonsky, Aug. 01, 2014

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