Oklahoma City police release more details related to May Ave. bridge collapse
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City police are releasing more details in a crash that caused a heavily traveled bridge to collapse last week.
Last Thursday, the May Avenue bridge that crosses over Northwest Expressway collapsed when a semi hauling a boom lift hit the bridge.
The driver of the truck told police he passed under the other side of the bridge earlier with no issue.
One side of the bridge has a maximum height of 14 feet and eight inches.
The side that collapsed only has a maximum height of 14 feet and four inches.
Officials say the collapse of the bridge was not a design or maintenance-related issue.
“It was a heavy semi tractor-trailer also carrying construction equipment. Obviously, a lot of weight hit it. I can tell you from visual inspection there are three very, very large beams that are severely damaged,” said Oklahoma City Public Works Director Eric Wenger.
Police said the driver of the semi truck was 32-year-old Matthew Alan Haney.
On Thursday, Oklahoma City police released the accident report related to the bridge collapse.
In the report, Haney allegedly told officers that he had just left Penn Square Mall, where he delivered a lift.
Haney told investigators that he used eastbound Northwest Expressway to get to the mall and had no issues.
After the delivery, he says he lowered the boom basket and returned westbound on Northwest Expressway, where he collided with the May Ave. bridge.
The accident report claims that Haney told investigators that he measured the height of the boom lift and trailer before leaving his shop, adding that it only measured 12 feet and eight inches, just under two feet below the maximum height of the bridge.
However, a witness told investigators a different story.
In the report, a witness said that he never saw Haney lower the boom before he left the mall.
The city says it will seek compensation from Haney’s company, Sunbelt Equipment.
City officials said two lanes of May Ave. are expected to open around 7 p.m. on Thursday, one in each direction on the bridge over Northwest Expressway.
Authorities say the undamaged portion of the bridge that normally carries May Ave.’s two lanes of southbound traffic is safe for travel.
All lanes of Northwest Expressway were opened Saturday evening.