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Police: Truck Driver Ignores Sign, Destroys Paoli Bridge

  • Paoli bridge

    Image 1 of 3

    Photo: Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement

    Police say the semi weighed close to 30 tons at the time of the collapse.

  • Paoli bridge

    Image 2 of 3

    Photo: Orange County Law Enforcement

    The driver of the semi and a 17-year-old passenger escaped unharmed.

  • Paoli bridge

    Image 3 of 3

    Photo: Orange County Law Enforcement

    Police say the driver ignored the posted 6-ton weight limit.

Police say a truck driver carrying 43,000 lbs. of bottled water ignored posted signs when she drove onto an iron bridge on Paoli’s South Gospel Street on Christmas Day, causing the bridge to collapse.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department says Mary Lambright, 23, was aware of signs posted near the bridge warning of a six-ton weight limit but continued onto the bridge anyway. She told police she didn’t know how many pounds six tons was. Police say the weight of the semi at the time of the accident was close to 30 tons.

When Lambright started to drive across the bridge the trailer of the semi started ripping because it was taller than the bridge. As Lambright kept driving, the weight of the semi caused the bridge to collapse. Lambright and her 17-year-old cousin were able to get out of the semi unharmed.

Lambright received her Commercial Drivers License endorsement in May and works for Louisville Logistics.

The semi was hauled away from the scene and will be inspected by Indiana State Police. Lambright was cited for reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, disregarding a traffic control device and having an overweight semi on a posted bridge.

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  • jug88

    Bet her family is proud of her.

  • Mark Jukes

    I blame the company due to the facts she was an inexperienced driver. No one taught her to judge heights, weights, and pay attentions to warning sings. Even she didn’t know the weight the other sign no trucks allowed she should have slam on the brakes.

  • J. B. Blackwell

    How in the WORLD did she not know how many pounds SIX TONS entails? Stupid common core math and lack of common sense.

  • Richard Deckard

    Common Core was adopted nationally after the 2009/2010 school year ended, so assuming that she exited high school (with or without a diploma) at age 18, she would have have already been out of school by the time many districts had adopted it. Also, the “how many pounds are in a ton” thing would have been covered far earlier than a high school level mathematics class, and as Mark pointed out below, improper training was possibly a factor, since it should have covered such topics.

  • Barb

    JB Blackwell this girl is not an educated person, common core or otherwise. A better question would be, WHO trained her? Did she go to a CDL school and who was her company trainer? I am guessing she never graduated high school if she doesn’t know something as simple as how to convert tons to pounds and vice versa. That is 6th grade basic math. There had to be red flags when this girl was training and it was just let go.

  • Barb

    Ok so this is a huge problem in the industry. Training, or lack thereof. There is little focus on this area at all. They teach how to backup and how to shift, then you are on your own. The company trainer is supposed to pick up where that leaves off but all too often the so called trainers have only been driving a couple of months themselves and are not qualified to train anyone. Who the hell told this girl she could ignore road signs ( especially with pictures) ?? Map reading is an important skill. Did this girl even know she should be consulting a road Atlas? Good grief, this whole thing could have been prevented. The training is what they should be focusing on.

  • Bob Eckert

    The company must pay every cent to recreate a modern replica of the bridge to punish them !!!

  • TWade

    The majority of
    Transportation and Logistics companies are paying drivers less than the
    beginning wages at McDonald’s or Walmart per hour. Drivers at these companies
    are expected to spend weeks away from home and spend many hours performing
    company labor for free. The industry has a driver shortage and these types of
    companies will put anyone in a truck with little or no experience because
    poorly trained and inexperienced drivers are cheap labor and the company could
    care less about the safety of the public. Where did they learn do this? At
    business schools like at IU where students are taught that it is all about
    profits. This driver shortage will get worse, unless the company owners, CEO,
    and CFO learn to show respect for their drivers, increase pay, and pay for all
    hours on-duty. Expect more of the same in the near future.

  • Art Goldsworthy

    “Lambright received her Commercial Drivers License endorsement in May and works for Louisville Logistics.” Worked for. I suspect her truck driving days are over.

  • Peter Wright

    Hmm, i don’t and have been truck driving for 39 years. Saying that I’m from the UK now living in Australia and have always worked in kilos. I know a 1000kg = 1 ton.

  • Peter Wright

    Charged for having an “overweight semi” am i the only male seeing the funny side to that statement..

  • Dave

    Is there really a “Louisville Logistics” company? I could not find an internet listing for it.

  • umbrarchist

    So the drivers are not told the weight of their trucks in tons. I guess 20 years ago no one thought a 23 year-old could be that dumb. But she got the height of the truck wrong too.

    I suppose the movie “Idiocracy” is no longer fiction.

  • umbrarchist

    I know a 1000kg = 1 ton.

    Now that is funny. Since a kilogram is 2.2 pounds a metric ton is 2,200 pounds. A ton for us un-metric Americans is 2,000 pounds. But I work on electronics and computers and don’t do anything in tons.

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