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Truck hits overpass on Interstate 5 in DuPont

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Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

A military vehicle loaded onto a flatbed truck struck and damaged the DuPont-Steilacoom Road overpass on Interstate 5 in DuPont Friday afternoon.

The cargo was at least 1-foot-6-inches too high, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Falling debris from the bridge has shut down the two southbound right lanes. Only one lane of traffic is getting through as of 5 p.m.

Southbound traffic is backed up to the state Route 512 interchange. Northbound traffic is also affected.

It’s unknown if the overpass has been structurally compromised in the 3:39 p.m. incident. An inspector from the state Department of Transportation was on his way to the scene as of 5 p.m. but was stuck in the traffic snarl, a WSDOT spokeswoman said.

The truck driver stopped after the bridge strike and was on the scene. The military vehicle, a heavy expanded mobility tactical truck, typically weighs just under 10 tons and is used for a wide variety of purposes.

The truck and its cargo measured 15-feet-6-inches high even after losing some of its parts in the strike. The bridge is clearly marked with a 15-foot height limit. The legal limit is 14-feet high for trucks and cargo, according to WSP spokeswoman Johnna Batiste.

The driver will be cited, she said.

“It is the responsibility of the driver to verify that his load is within legal limits, not the people who loaded it,” Batiste said.

The overpass is open to traffic but the sidewalk, which apparently took the brunt of the hit, is closed.

Three other vehicles were damaged by debris following the collision, Batiste said. There were no injuries.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune for 20 years as a reporter, editor and photographer. He previously worked at The Olympian and at other newspapers in Nevada and California.