Tractor-trailer gets stuck in Tennerton bridge

State police: load measured 14 feet, 7 inches -- 5 inches taller than bridge designed to accommodate

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Truck stuck in bridge
Crews and a wrecker work to free parts of a large truck load that got snagged in the Tennerton bridge that crosses the Buckhannon River near the middle school.

TENNERTON — The truck got stuck.

In simple terms, that’s exactly what happened Thursday morning when a tractor-trailer with too tall a load attempted to cross the Tallmansville Bridge that extends across the Buckhannon River on Tallmansville Road.

Investigating officer Cpl. T.A. Menendez with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police said the accident happened at 10:20 a.m., when a tractor-trailer being driven by Victor King, of Georgia, attempted to drive across the Tallmansville Bridge – but didn’t quite make it.

The tractor-trailer’s load measured 14 feet, 7 inches tall – five inches taller than the 14 feet, 2 inches the bridge is designed to handle, Menendez said. A large piece of metal that was being transported atop the truck crashed into the top of the bridge, hitting it “pretty hard,” the officer added.

The impact of the metal piece caused the load chains and binders to go “flying everywhere,” Menendez said. “We are lucky the load never hit the pavement because we could have been in some real trouble.”

Menendez said West Virginia Department of Highways officials; members of the Buckhannon Fire Department and Washington Volunteer Fire Company; and West Virginia Public Service Commission officials were all on scene working together to free the truck and its load from the bridge.

They were eventually successful.

Menendez wrote King a citation for over height, he said, because according to state law, if a truck or tractor-trailer is carrying a load that exceeds 13 feet, 6 inches in height, the driver or company is required to apply for and secure a permit.

A tractor-trailer with such a tall load must also be escorted by a pilot truck, the corporal said.

“He was exactly 1 foot, 1 inch over the limit where you’re required to get a permit and have a pilot truck. He was from Georgia, so I just think he didn’t know the law around here,” Menendez said of King.

“He was able to drive away from the scene, but he won’t be able to get back on the road until he gets that permit and has a pilot truck,” the officer added.

Menendez said King had been headed from a mining operation near Ten Mile to the Robbins Company, located on Mattsville Road in Glen Daniels, W.Va. The truck belongs to a company called Spectrum Express in Illinois, he added.

The Tallmansville Road – including the bridge – is now reopen, firefighter John Brugnoli with the BFD confirmed Thursday afternoon.

“People can travel all the way from Route 20 through Tallmansville now,” he said.

Nearly two hours later, the BFD responded to another large truck-related incident near the Poe Bridge.
At 12:05 p.m., the fire department was paged out to an area near the Poe Bridge where firefighters believe a large truck knocked down a fiber-optic line.

“We don’t know who the large truck belonged to because they were already gone when we arrived on scene,” Brugnoli said. He said the line was on the opposite side of the Poe Bridge and actually extended across River Avenue to the other side of the Poe Bridge.

The contractor has been contacted and is repairing the downed line.