Pedestrian bridge falls onto Southfield Freeway after hit by truck; driver killed
Driver of truck who hit bridge over M-39 dies at hospital
DETROIT – A pedestrian bridge which spanned over Southfield Freeway collapsed Friday morning, blocking lanes throughout the day.
A truck hit the overpass and caused the collapse about 6 a.m. at Cathedral Street. The driver of that truck died at a hospital.
He has been identified as 54-year-old Stanford Michael Doll, of Almont, Mich.
The entire Southfield Freeway was closed from I-96 to Joy Road, causing miles of traffic backup. The northbound and southbound sides of the freeway have reopened.
Michigan State Police say he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
"One unfortunate part of this is the driver would have actually survived if he had his seatbelt on," said MSP Lt. Michael Shaw. "He did not have his seatbelt on and that's going to definitely be a contributing cause to why he passed away."
The truck -- from TLC Waste Disposal Services -- had it's back end up. It was the back end that struck the bridge.
"We're looking at some indicators to see if there is an indicator light in the vehicle that shows that the boom is up and down. It's not required by law but a lot of the newer trucks have those now. So those are the different things we'll be looking at," said Shaw.
At least one car was crushed underneath the bridge when it collapsed. The man in the car said that he was driving and the next thing he knew he saw the Joy Road sign in his windshield. The man was not seriously injured in the incident. You can learn more about his story by clicking here.
The bridge was last inspected in May. Diane Cross, of the Michigan Department of Transportation, said there are three categories for bridge rating: poor, fair and good.
"The bridge itself at the last inspection was in fair-to-good condition, which means the bridge was in good shape but it was hit with such a force that it cause it to collapse down onto the roadway," said Cross.
The blockage caused a major backup Friday morning on M-39 near West Chicago Road and Joy Road.
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