A pedestrian bridge in Michigan has collapsed onto the Southfield Freeway, killing one person. The freeway was closed Friday morning from I-96 to Joy Road during rush hour traffic in both directions because of the pedestrian bridge collapse. The pedestrian bridge is the Cathedral Road overpass. An interview by WXYZ reporter with Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw broke the news that the driver of a dumpster hauler was killed in the bridge collapsed.
According to Michigan State Police, the preliminary investigations indicated that the dumpster hauler’s broom was lifted. Shaw believed that the extended broom pulled the pedestrian bridge down as the vehicle passed beneath it. The Detroit Free Press explained that the truck had a lift that raised the load the truck was carrying. In the incident, the load was raised high enough to bring down the bridge. The police lieutenant said that the accident happened before rush hour, and that the impact would have been even more severe had it occurred even an hour later.
— WZZM 13 On Your Side (@wzzm13) September 26, 2014
Traffic on the freeway was backed up for miles after the road was closed for investigations, and then to clear away the debris of the accident and the ruined bridge. The driver of the waste hauler was believed to have non-life threatening injuries when he was transported from the scene of the bridge collapse, but was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead at Sinai-Grace, according to WXYZ News.
— Ashlee Baracy (@AshleeBaracy) September 26, 2014
A driver who witnessed the deadly accident told WXYZ News that he was on his way to Metro Airport when the bridge collapsed. He said that a traffic sign attached to overpass crashed through the roof of his Ford Explorer, but he was not injured.
Debris extensive at site of M-39 pedestrian bridge collapse, but MDOT official said it should be clear by end of day pic.twitter.com/Z9Sk76eVu6
— Robert Allen (@rallenMI) September 26, 2014
— 97.1 The Ticket (@971theticketxyt) September 26, 2014
According to reports, Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford was on the freeway when the bridge collapsed. Stafford was reportedly on his way to practice, and was one of the first to stop at the scene of thebridge collapse, according to the Washington Times. Lions’ security picked him up from the scene of the collapsed pedestrian bridge and traffic fatality.
Matthew Stafford was among drivers on the Southfield Freeway this morning during the pedestrian bridge collapse. pic.twitter.com/3lLSTuf0j8
— Nate Williams (@NateWilliamsFS) September 26, 2014
[Photo via still shot of WXYZ interview with Lt. Michael Shaw]