Truck pulling excavator damages I-405 overpass, shuts it down ‘til mid-week

Surveillance video showed the painful moment debris from an excavator crashing into an I-405 overpass fell on an unsuspecting driver.

The collision happened in Renton just before 9 a.m. Monday.

Witnesses said the driver wasn’t hurt.

However, the damage to the overpass closed busy Lind Avenue Southwest all day.

Some people working nearby heard the excavator hit the overpass. They said it was like an earthquake.

“We heard this bang and just came running out of the shop,” exclaimed Austin.

This is what Austin and his co-workers at Good Chevrolet in the shadow of I-405 heard at about 8:48 a.m. Monday.

“And saw the dust and excavator going through the freeway,” he said. “So, it was pretty wild.”

“I heard a loud bang and felt the ground shake,” said Jim Fox. “And it was scary.”

Fox was working inside the repair shop too. He said he thought it was an earthquake.

“To begin with, I did,” said Fox. “So we came running out the back door. Someone said a truck hit the overpass.”

Surveillance video showed what happened.

A truck hauling an excavator traveling southbound on the 405 drove into the overpass and kept going, unleashing a debris field that pelted the vehicle following close behind.

A photo showed the damage the vehicle suffered. But the Washington State Patrol said the driver escaped unhurt.

Eyewitnesses said the truck driver then got out and started sweeping the debris away.

Chopper 7 was overhead in the moments after a portion of 405 was shut down just long enough to remove the debris.

The overpass, Lind Avenue SW, was shut down much of the day. State Department of Transportation engineers told KIRO 7 that five of the eight girders underneath the bridge were damaged, three of them extensively.

It all made for a shocking start to this first day of the work week.

“I think it’s crazy,” said Fox. “They closed my road-test road. That’s where I road-test to come back over here. Now I got to find a new route.”

And he is not alone.

A DOT spokesman told KIRO 7 that engineers had finished their inspection but were looking at the data to determine whether the overpass could be reopened.

As for the driver, WSP said he will be cited. They are figuring out what that will be. And he or his insurance will be forced to cover the tens of thousands of dollars the repair will cost.

WSDOT announced late Monday that Lind Avenue SW would remain closed for a couple of days but one lane in each direction would be open.

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