NTSB: Systematic errors led to Skagit bridge collapse

by: The Associated Press Updated:

The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed after an oversized load hit the trusses of the bridge.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The National Transportation Safety Board says that insufficient route planning, a distracted pilot driver and an inadequate permitting process by the state of Washington all played a part in the Interstate 5 bridge collapse north of Seattle last year.    

The four-member board voted unanimously Tuesday after a nearly two-hour hearing to issue a number of recommendations, including banning nonessential cellphone use by pilot car drivers and better warnings of low-clearance bridges, as well as lane-specific guidance for clearance on bridges.    

A section of the bridge fell into the water after a truck carrying a tall load hit the bridge in Mount Vernon.

Two other vehicles fell into the river, and three people were rescued with minor injuries.   

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.