Spencerville Covered Bridge Damaged

By Scott Sarvay
By Rachel Martin

September 26, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2013 at 9:08 PM EDT

SPENCERVILLE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – A semi-truck driver’s poor judgment has some serious consequence as a historic covered bridge becomes damaged.

DeKalb County Deputies say cars are allowed to cross the covered bridge, but it’s not tall, wide, or strong enough for semi-trucks. Deputies say the truck driver from Illinois claims he was unaware of the bridge and was just following his GPS. Deputies say the truck driver decided to press his luck and try to pass over the St. Joseph River using the covered bridge, instead of the more modern bridge located nearby along CR 68.

The truck broke crossbeams and roof supports the entire length of the bridge as it crossed the span heading eastbound. As the truck reached the end it knocked the bridge's east end sign to the ground. Deputies and residents at the scene say the bridge floor is still in-tact, but it’s declared unsafe and will be closed until further notice.

Pat Hollman, a Spencerville resident who was at the scene of the accident, says what happened to the covered bridge is a nightmare.

“It's unreal what happened today. It's just hard to believe. We were over at the fair and received the call and came over. It's still unbelievable. It feels like a nightmare. It's one of the worst nightmares,” she said.

Officials say they’re not sure how long the bridge will be closed, but they do not think the damage is permanent. Contractors are supposed to inspect the bridge Thursday.

DeKalb Deputies say the truck driver is preliminarily charged with criminal mischief and will spend some time in the DeKalb County jail.

The Spencerville Covered Bridge was built in 1873, and is declared a National Historical Landmark. It is the only covered bridge in DeKalb County.




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