Truck driver violated drive times when concrete beam fell off in Georgetown

Concrete bridge beam that fell off truck in Georgetown on I-35 mile marker 268 (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)
Concrete bridge beam that fell off truck in Georgetown on I-35 mile marker 268 (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — After a huge concrete beam fell off of a truck this morning, causing traffic back-ups on Interstate 35 in Georgetown, KXAN Investigates discovered the driver was not following all the rules. The beam, used in bridge construction, measuring 40 feet long by 14 feet wide fell off early Tuesday morning.

The Georgetown Police Department says the incident began between 3 and 4 a.m. near mile marker 268 as the driver was making his way from San Antonio to Richardson. The driver told police he swerved to avoid a crash with a car and the trailer caught the edge of the road, which caused the load to fall off.

KXAN ran the truck’s Department of Transportation number and found a clean record for the trucking company Petecast Hauling. No inspection violations or crash history. And unlike a similar incident on Friday, where a concrete beam fell off a truck in Cedar Park, this trip was properly permitted through the state. But the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says travel for the Petecast Hauling truck was only allowed during daylight hours, parameters the driver violated since the crash happened around 3 a.m.

“When you’re at the helm of an 80,000 lb. rig and you have to make these abrupt changes it’s very, very dangerous,” Phil Sneed, president of Tandem Logistics said. “So we as drivers of cars need to be really mindful and respectful of these rigs.”

The Texas Department of Safety cited the driver for not having an up-to-date log book. Sneed says log books are meant to protect drivers against fatigue. Come December, drivers nationwide will move from paper log book to an electronic format. “So drivers who have been able to take sort of a less-than-strict approach to the compliance of those rules, they’ll be adapting to the electronic form of hours of service,” he said.

In another effort to increase safety on the road, Sneed said the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, made up of local, state and national law enforcement, will conduct its annual blitz the first week of June. It involves some 65,000 nationwide inspections of commercial vehicle trucks. The focus this year – devices to secure the truck’s load.

No one was hurt and cleanup finished around 11:35 a.m.

Concrete bridge beam that fell off truck in Georgetown on I-35 mile marker 268 (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)
Concrete bridge beam that fell off truck in Georgetown on I-35 mile marker 268 (KXAN photo/Todd Bailey)

 

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