Covered bridge collapses on truck in Maitland - FOX 35 News Orlando

Covered bridge collapses on truck in Maitland

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A vehicle hauling a trailer struck and leveled a covered bridge on Old Horatio Ave. around 11 p.m. Monday. The bridge collapsed on top of the truck, which was pulling a moving trailer.

The SUV cleared the overpass but the trailer, which looks to be 8 feet tall, didn't clear the bridge. A yellow sign marked with a clearance warning of 6 feet, 6 inches is marked on the bridge.

The driver wasn't injured.  He said he knew the bridge was low, but at the time, he just forgot.

"I heard another 'Crash! Crash! Crash!' I knew something else had happened," said Scottie Cahill.

He had his food trailer hooked to the back of his SUV when he struck the bridge.  He admitted that he was exhausted after a full day at work.

"Came back after a long day.  I was doing 'Taste of Altamonte' in my pizza truck," he said.  "I actually grew up in this neighborhood... multiple times come through there without a trailer, and last night, was tired and just forgot about it."

The SUV and trailer were stuck under the bridge for hours, taking neighbors like Manny Del Valle by surprise.

"I heard a loud bang, it sounded like a sonic boom," Del Valle said.

The bridge covers a canal and links Lake Maitland and Lake Minnehaha. This is one of the few covered bridges in Florida. The Maitland bridge was built over the Lake Nina canal in 1958, but the covered wood section was not added until 1988. The bridge was covered to prevent heavy trucks from traveling over the canal.

Maitland Public Works Director Rick Lemke said the structure under the bridge is still stable but probably does not pass current standards.

"Doesn't apply with any of the current standards, so we would have to barricade that off at least temporally, until we decide if we're going to rebuild."

There is another way in and out of this subdivision, according to Maitland Officer Allison Diller.

"It's just kind of sad," she added, "being that it's one of the only small covered bridges, and it's been in Maitland for a long time."

"I was expecting worse," said Cahill.  "The fact that my car can drive, I'm thankful for that.  The trailer you can still tow it.  Really, I'm excited right now, as much as you can be."

Demolition crews had to take the bridge cover apart late Tuesday afternoon.  Cahill was cited with careless driving.


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