Howell Man Injured In Deadly I-75 Overpass Collapse In Ohio

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cincinnati construction collapse kills one person.

Work continues in the aftermath of the bridge collapse on I-75 on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. CINCINNATI (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a truck driver from Howell, Mich. is recovering after being involved in an overpass accident along I-75 in Ohio that killed a construction worker.

Traffic flows smoothly on I-75 southbound after it re-opened on night of January 20, 2015; it was closed the night before following the collapse of an overpass that was being demolished; one person died WKRC-TV CINCINNATI — A highway where an overpass collapse during demolition work left one worker dead and a tractor-trailer driver injured was cleared of concrete and steel on Tuesday and reopened, but police were left wondering what the casualty toll might have been had the accident occurred amid heavy traffic. The removal of tons of debris from Interstate 75 began Tuesday afternoon and was completed by nighttime, allowing the closed southbound lanes to reopen to traffic. Ohio transportation authorities will then assess the pavement where the section of overpass deck landed Monday night with what a resident described as an earth-shaking thud. An Ohio Dept. of Transportation spokesperson told CBS Cincinnati affiliate WKRC-TV Tuesday night that I-75 South reopened more quickly than anticipated. Cincinnati authorities said casualties could have been much higher had Monday night’s accident occurred at a busy time on I-75, which carries more than 178,000 vehicles a day through the area about 5 miles north of the Ohio River. “The situation could have been significantly worse,” Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said Tuesday. “It’s just timing that we only had one fatality.” Authorities identified the worker who was killed as Brandon William Carl, 35, of Augusta, Ky.

The Hamilton County coroner’s office will do an autopsy to determine cause of death; Cincinnati fire officials said the body was recovered from rubble with the help of air bags and special equipment early Tuesday morning, about four hours after the accident. The “catastrophic pancake collapse” happened about 10:30 p.m. as a crew prepared for demolition of the old Hopple Street overpass, according to a statement from the City of Cincinnati. Crystal Hargett, of Bracken County, said she got a phone call shortly after 10:30 p.m. from her husband, Billy, saying that he had just lost his best friend. Gary Middleton, an acting deputy director of the transportation department, said it was a “routine operation” being carried out by a major contractor.

Westerville-based Kokosing Construction was doing the demolition under a nearly $91 million contract for a three-year project meant to improve traffic capacity and safety in a busy stretch of I-75. He rushed over to try, unsuccessfully, to save the victim. “Billy said he just pulled his brother out,” Crystal Hargett said through tears. “They were so close that (Billy) called him his brother.

They drove to work together every day.” “You’re looking at three children under the age of 9 at home in Kentucky that are going to wake up looking for their daddy,” Hargett said. “And his fiance, they were high school sweethearts. Kokosing also could face fines and other disciplinary action by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which was investigating the work-related death. The city tweeted: “Plan ahead, leave early, expect delays.” Over the course of the night, dozens of onlookers had stopped their cars on the new Hopple Street bridge, on the shoulder of the interstate or on a nearby off ramp. Tieke, of Cincinnati, ran heavy equipment in the Army and for the city for 30 years. “I don’t know how this could have happened,” Tieke said. “Accidents happen.

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