Truckers are questioning how Mary Lambright, the woman who drove a semi-truck with a 53-foot box trailer that was carrying 43,000 pounds of bottled water onto a tiny, historic bridge in Paoli Indiana, ever got her CDL. The Indiana bridge was built in 1880 and had a weight limit of six tons. The 23-year-old trucker told police that she knew the bridge's weight limit. The trucker even admitted that she saw the signage that stated that semis were not allowed to use the bridge.
Unfortunately, Lambright was not comfortable backing up her Volvo box trailer, so she decided to chance it on the iron bridge. Lambright's truck was five times heavier than the bridge's posted weight limit. She drover a 30-ton truck onto a historic bridge, and her biggest defense was that she didn't know how many pounds was equal to six tons, according to Truck Yeah.
The trucker was planning on parking the truck in a Walmart parking lot, but she missed her exit. She tried to turn the truck around, according to WHAS 11, but several attempts proved unsuccessful, so she decided to cross the historic bridge instead. When she made it onto the bridge, the trailer's top immediately started ripping off because the truck she was in was also too tall for the old bridge. As she drove further, police say, the bridge could not support the 30 tons of truck and water it was hauling and the bridge began to collapse.
Historic bridge is destroyed by truck after driver calculates wrong and exceeds weight limit https://t.co/8rhLgnAwhc pic.twitter.com/Gmwcv4ZqQALambright worked for Louisville Logistics. She earned her Commercial Drivers License (CDL) endorsement on May 12, 2015.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) December 29, 2015
Her 17-year-old cousin was in the cab with her on the day she wrecked the historic bridge, and neither were injured.
On social media and in blog posts online, fellow truckers can't fathom how she ever earned her CDL and are relentlessly shaming her choice to drive over the bridge.
How a sequence of bad options led to the collapse of this historic bridge... - https://t.co/dZ814GKa0j pic.twitter.com/jRBWr7YqXq"You may think we're being unnecessarily mean here but when you read the police statement below and see that she admitted to police that she saw the six ton weight limit signs and proceeded because she did not know how many pounds six tons represented you'll understand our take a little better," Brian Lohnes wrote for Bangshift. "For 10 years of my life I worked jobs where I was in charge of guys driving trucks. From big heavy trucks filled with bottled water (like Mary was hauling) or smaller trucks with hazardous chemicals in them, it was a nerve wracking existence because I was always fearful of something like this happening. While Mary will have to pay a $135 fine, the company she drives for will be getting fried in legal hell for some time to come."
— Viral Buzz News (@VIralBuzzNewss) December 28, 2015
"She was cited for reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, disregarding a traffic control device, and overweight on a posted bridge," reports Live Trucking.
Semi takes out historic bridge in Paoli, IN. @FallonGlick will have the story tonight on @WDRBNews pic.twitter.com/sLmIsC3yzdOrange County Indiana Law Enforcement posted about the trucker's fiasco with the bridge the day after it happened. The post was shared over 30,000 times as of Wednesday evening.
— Doug Smith (@DougSmith_4) December 25, 2015
Thomas Smith, a trucker who boasts 15 years of no tickets, responded that backing up a semi is one of the first things you learn at school.
"Several times try turn around if so stop park on the side of the road flashers on call up the local police tell the your in a semi can't turn around they come out and help u out to back up n turn around. Holy s**t these big companies throw these new drivers in a truck brand new trucks say anything to them to get them. For one she wasn't paying attention going to fast to miss her turn to busy talking bulls****ing n she's has a underage cousin n the truck hmmm lots of companies won't allow under age or even allow passengers n the truck."Before becoming a trucker, the woman hadn't had much driving experience at all.
"She's a very inexperienced driver," Paoli Police Chief Randy Sanders said, explaining that Lambright had left the Amish order about a year ago, reports Herald Times Online.
Repairs may not be possible for collapsed historic bridge in Paoli | https://t.co/XbEwNv9FV9 via @BabsofBtown pic.twitter.com/eosM5p4P3F[Image via Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement]
— WFIU News (@WFIUNews) December 31, 2015