SEATTLE, Wash. – A pilot driver guiding an oversize load that triggered an Interstate 5 bridge collapse north of Seattle told investigators that the clearance pole mounted on her car never hit the structure.
But in documents released by federal investigators Wednesday, at least one witness reported seeing the pole hit the Skagit River bridge, indicating there may not have been proper clearance for the oversize load.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the May 23, 2013, bridge collapse.
A section of the span fell into the water after a truck carrying an oversize load hit the bridge about 60 miles north of Seattle.
The truck driver told investigators he felt “squeezed” by a freight truck coming fast in the left lane.
Documents show that the pilot driver was talking on the phone on an hands free device at the time of the accident.