The flatbed tractor-trailer that crashed into the I-35 overpass in Salado, Texas, and resulted in one fatality did not possess an oversize permit, according to Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Spokesperson Adam Shaivitz. Three state agencies are continuing the investigation.
At around 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, a flatbed tractor-trailer owned by Crowley, Texas-based Lares Trucking crashed into an overpass under construction at I-35 and FM 2484, killing one man in a pickup truck and injuring three others.
Lares Trucking declined to comment when reached at the phone number listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. FMCSA lists Lares Trucking as being authorized for intrastate only. Cargo carried includes construction and building materials.
Early reports suggested that a C.R. England tractor-trailer crashed into the bridge causing it to collapse. As information became available, C.R. England was absolved from any responsibility for the crash. TxDOT emphasized that the bridge had not collapsed and is structurally sound as the project is moving forward. Lanes on I-35 did not reopen until approximately 4 a.m. on Friday, March 27.
A Texas Department of Transportation press release reveals that the bridge was 14 feet and 1/2 inch. Three signs were posted indicating a clearance of 13 feet and 6 inches – one sign two miles from the bridge, one sign one mile away, and the other at the exit. The Associated Press is reporting that the Lares truckload was estimated at 14 feet, 7 inches.
FMCSA documents show that Lares Trucking operates two vehicles with two drivers registered under the business name. In the past two years, Lares Trucking has undergone five inspections. Two vehicles were issued out of service, but no citations were given to drivers. No crashes have been reported for the company. The incident in Salado is still under investigation.