Shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday evening, April 21st, a bridge in Berkeley County between Moncks Corner and Charleston collapsed, causing a train passing underneath to derail. Officials from the South Carolina Department of Transportation declared the collapse an emergency situation and began emergency procedures shortly after receiving a 911 call.
A Berkeley County Rescue Squad Chief reported that there is currently no known cause for why a 20-foot section of the bridge collapsed, but that authorities were conducting an investigation. According to The State , no injuries were reported and a total of five train cars were derailed. The bridge was also declared a total loss and the Department of Transportation has set up a 22-mile detour.
Pickup Truck Clears Gap
In an even more bizarre turn of events, a motorist in a pickup truck approaching the bridge just as it collapsed was forced to hit the gas and jump a 15-20 foot gap. Although the driver landed safely on the other side, the truck was totaled. Since the incident took place, it has garnered media attention across the state. Several physicists have even analyzed the jump. Any way you look at it, the man driver's "Dukes of Hazzard" jump was quite a lucky feat.
It is fortunate that no one was injured during the collapse. The bridge – which was built in 1935, widened in 1975, and last inspected in the fall – sees more than 6,000 vehicles each day. While authorities try to determine whether the collapse was a result of a bridge in disrepair or a collision with the train car, everyone can use the incident as a reminder that a variety of hazards exist on our roadways.
From wet roads and potholes to blind corners and inadequate warning signs, there are a lot of things that can pose risks to drivers. This is why being aware and vigilant on public roads and highways is so important. In many cases, state and local government entities are responsible for maintaining public roads to ensure the safety of motorists who travel them. They can potentially be held liable for damages victims suffer as a result of defective roadways or dangerous conditions.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we represent car accident victims who have been hurt through no fault of their own, including those who have been in accidents caused by preventable hazards. To learn more about your rights after a car accident and how our South Carolina personal injury lawyers can help, call 888-612-7001 for a FREE consultation.