Mt. Vernon Register-News

September 6, 2013

Bridge collapses, no injuries reported

The Register-News

---- — WOODLAWN — A bridge collapse on Panzier Lane Thursday afternoon brought tense moments for the driver of a Beelman Trucking Company truck that was crossing it when the bridge failed.

Investigations are underway to determine what caused the collapse. According to information from officials at the scene, the driver was on the bridge when he heard a loud "pop" and the bridge started collapsing. The driver reported his wheels started spinning as he hurried to clear the span of the bridge without being sucked into the creek below with the remains of the bridge.

County Highway Engineer Brandon Simmons said the investigation into what caused the collapse is underway.

"The bridge isn't really that old," Simmons said. "We don't know yet what happened."

The truck was loaded, officials said, and it was being weighed as part of the investigation on Thursday afternoon.

Woodlawn Fire Protection District was called to help close the road to traffic, blocking the roadway with an engine at Illinois Route 15; Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies converged on the south end of the bridge to block traffic from the area. The sheriff's office notified local schools so school buses could be re-routed around the section of the roadway affected by the bridge collapse.

Simmons said at this time it is unknown how long the bridge will be closed; information will be released as it becomes available.