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Accident Report Detail

Tractor-Semitrailer Collision with Bridge Columns on Interstate 65

Executive Summary

‚ÄčOn May 19, 1993, at 1:35 a.m., while traveling south on Interstate 65 near Evergreen, Alabama, a tractor with bulk-cement-tank semitrailer left the paved road, traveled along the embankment, overran a guardrail, and collided with a supporting bridge column of the County Road 22 overpass. Two spans of the overpass collapsed onto the semitrailer and the southbound lanes of the interstate, sending a cloud of cement dust into the air. An automobile and a tractor-semitrailer, also southbound, then collided with the collapsed bridge spans. The cement-tank truckdriver sustained serious injuries; the drivers of the other two vehicles were killed.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the truckdriver's failure to maintain his vehicle in the driving lane because of reduced alertness consistent with falling asleep. Contributing to the accident may have been the truckdriver's use of marijuana. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the collapse of the bridge, after the semitrailer collided with and demolished the north column, that was a combined result of the nonredundant bridge design, the close proximity of the column bent to the road, and the lack of protection for the column bent from high-speed heavy-vehicle collision.

Accident Location: Evergreen , AL    
Accident Date: 5/19/1993
Accident ID: DCA93MH002

Date Adopted: 4/21/1994
NTSB Number: HAR-94-02
NTIS Number: PB94-916202

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