Trucker Accidentally Destroys Historic Indiana Bridge

December 28, 2015

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Photo: Orange County Law Enforcement
Photo: Orange County Law Enforcement

A historic iron bridge in Paoli, Ind., collapsed on Christmas Day when a truck driver carrying 43,000 pounds of bottled water attempted to cross despite posted weight limits, according to local news station WHAS 11.

Mary Lambright, a 23-year old driver, was driving a Volvo truck pulling a 53-foot trailer when she missed an exit to a Paoli Walmart where she intended to park at for the night, according to Orange County Indiana Law enforcement. She got off at the following exit and found herself in a situation where she could not turn around.

Being familiar with the area, she knew of an iron bridge that would have allowed her to get to where she was going, but she had only crossed it with her personal vehicle previously. Lambright admitted knowing that the bridge had a posted weight limit of 6 tons but said she was unaware of the weight of her truck. Her vehicle weighed close to 30 tons.

She told police that she was uncomfortable with backing up and made the decision to cross. As the truck entered the bridge, the trailer was too tall and started tearing, but she continued on, eventually collapsing the bridge. Lambright and her cousin who was riding in the vehicle with her at the time were unharmed.

Lambright, who drove for Louisville Logistics and received her CDL last May, is being cited for three violations related to the incident, including reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, disregarding a traffic control device and being overweight on a posted bridge.


  1. 1. Robert [ December 28, 2015 @ 04:01PM ]


    She has 43,000 pounds on but can't translate that in to tons? There was 43,000 pounds on but the article says it grossed 30 tons. Either she has a very light weight rig or who ever wrote this can't do the math either. She hears the trailer hit but keeps on going. Did she think the trailer was owing to get shorter? She was unable to back up? I can understand being unsure but did her brakes malfunction too? There is so much stupid in this whole thing it is hard to fathom.

    I hope this young lady finds a different career. Running for political office comes to mind.

  2. 2. james [ December 28, 2015 @ 05:47PM ]

    I was waiting to read that her gps said she could cross the bridge

  3. 3. John McNeilly [ December 29, 2015 @ 05:07AM ]

    What an idiot!!!! She did not know her empty weight of the tractor alone with no fuel was in excess of the posted weight? This is exactly the kind of situation that shows current training for CDL holders is completely insufficient. As anti-regulation as I am, it is my belief that training about axle weights, bridge law and legal load limits ought to be mandated. Like Robert said, this is unfathomable. There is a lot that went wrong here. Sounds like she had no business being in a truck and she was an accident waiting to happen. And having a passenger could not have helped, as she obviously didn't need the additional distraction and responsibility of another person in the truck.

  4. 4. Paul Johnson [ December 29, 2015 @ 06:15AM ]

    As we all know getting through training to drive a tractor trailer is a feet in its own unless the training school only teaches the basics. The State CDL training book only covers the basics and it is up to the trainers to give more insight on what this career entails. Here in IL. they are just as ignorant as that state thinking parallel parking should be a test instead of dock backing and I don't think that I have ever seen anything about weight, bridge laws on the CDL test here and I was a trainer for over 2 years for a very credible training school back then, but now its only about the buck not the safety of the public or the driver, what a shame. I have also heard that if you call for help because your got yourself in a mess that could cause problems they tell you its your own problem or if they do come out they fine the crap out of you. This is not how it use to be, officers would help guide you out, truckers would help if you needed assistants and you were not belittled because of your mistake. Had I heard a distress call on the CB asking if someone could back the rig up a 1/4 mile to over 5 miles I would be there for them. That's how the old time truckers are, and they will tell you their stories of the messes they had gotten themselves into and how they got out of them. This is not entirely the young ladies fault but she should have just stopped, parked her rig and walked across the bridge and found someone willing to help. Now for all you yah whose who saw that big rig approaching that bridge shame on you for not stopping her. As for the young lady if this is your desire to be a truck driver go back and find a good school that teaches more than just the basics like the one I do know of here in IL.

  5. 5. Frank Owens [ December 29, 2015 @ 06:42AM ]

    How the Hell did this dimwit get out of high school. The author of this article should get a math refresher course.

  6. 6. pap [ December 29, 2015 @ 08:49AM ]

    This is just the tip of the Iceberg. The USDOT has spent 25 years making this a job no one wants to do. Average age of my drivers in 1992 --29 yr old.
    Average age of my driver in 2016-- 60 years old . Like the DOT man said -- I do not care if there is 10 driver of 1 million ( I AM HERE TO REGULATE) Who is going to replace these retiring drivers--- I guess 23 year old Amish girls. That should say it all.

  7. 7. Bo [ December 29, 2015 @ 08:55AM ]

    Another 6 week wonder. Truck driving schools teach nothing these days. I have a friend just went to driving school. He calls me often for help because the schools and his trainers tought him nothing. They didn't even teach him the basic weight limits or how to move your weight around.

  8. 8. pap [ December 29, 2015 @ 09:05AM ]

    Since trucking has not worked out for the young Amish girl, I hear she is going to become and airline pilot

  9. 9. raspandcream [ December 29, 2015 @ 12:40PM ]

    I think she may have had an idea of what she was one could be that dumb she passed the test..she just thought she could get away with it...Now the company is going to get a HEFTY fine and should also have to pay to restore or replace the bridge. If she was too scared to back up she should have swallowed her pride and called the local police and admitted she made a mistake and asked for assistance because they are there to help and I think they would have gladly helped rather than have their town destroyed....this girl should never drive for anyone again.

  10. 10. johnie [ December 30, 2015 @ 03:14PM ]

    And dot is still allowing special companies to use 18 year olds

  11. 11. Chuck [ December 30, 2015 @ 03:33PM ]

    This woman is a PATHETIC excuse for a CDL driver.
    She should now learn how JAIL looks......maybe she'll decide to THINK next time !!!

  12. 12. John [ December 31, 2015 @ 08:21AM ]

    I see someone is looking for a job! LOL 23 and already got this under her good luck with getting another truck to drive young lady.....

  13. 13. Honky [ January 01, 2016 @ 09:30AM ]

    "she missed an exit to a Paoli Walmart where she intended to park at for the night, according to Orange County Indiana Law enforcement " Apparently because she couldn't back into a spot at a truck stop. I wouldn't want her attempting to back next to me.

  14. 14. SloMo [ January 01, 2016 @ 10:15AM ]

    It's funny the government spends so much time regrulating the trucks on the road in the name of safety. Yet there are so many private schools not teaching these new drivers the basics. Why not start there, may a federal guideline of what new drivers have to learn. Stop there cdl mills from pumpings out license to unqualified drivers. Then start holding the large companies that assume their training responsible.

  15. 15. JW MONDAK III [ January 02, 2016 @ 08:54AM ]

    Classic Story..

  16. 16. Heath [ January 02, 2016 @ 02:18PM ]

    I drove a semi truck OTR for 20 years. I finally retired 3 years ago because of all the scum and idiots that I witnessed filling the seats of trucks over the years. It is only getting worse and I fear for the safety of my family every time they drive upon the roadways. Just a quick example of the trash that exists amongst the trucking community: I pulled into a Pilot truck stop in Northern Indiana and when I was fueling up my rig I noticed a middle eastern man next to me filling up his rig. While filling his rig, he proceeded to urinate right there at the fuel pumps. I confronted him about this and his response was that he didn't know they had restrooms in the truck stop! Merica!

  17. 17. Bob [ January 02, 2016 @ 07:12PM ]

    Tough enough on the road as it is without putting up with that shit. And with it a rise in disease. MANNERS MATTER.

  18. 18. CT [ January 04, 2016 @ 05:45AM ]

    Between the young adults who are no longer required to think and use their God given brains out of laziness and the influx of Middle Eastern/Mexicans foreign invaders, the trucking industry will be screwed...

  19. 19. James [ January 07, 2016 @ 12:06PM ]

    i'm sure she's been posted in one of those video's where the trailer hits
    the low bridge!!!

  20. 20. Papa Jack [ January 15, 2016 @ 02:15PM ]

    Please let your state congressional member know about this. The process to obtain a "big rig" license should require knowledge of what they are driving.
    CDL schools and trucking companies do not care.

  21. 21. Pay attention [ February 05, 2016 @ 09:47AM ]

    U get what u pay for. 23...? Need to learn to read before driving a big truck.

  22. 22. ONE DUM SOB [ May 17, 2016 @ 02:34PM ]

    They are ALL IDIOTS, The company that hired this Idiot, The Company that loaded this Idiot, The Cop that only gave her 3 Fines and the complete MORON that risked their own life riding with this IDIOT.
    Truck drivers can only blame themselves, Nobody just gave them this reputation, YOU ALL EARNED IT, HIRE MORONS, GET MORONS, HIRE IDIOTS, GET IDIOTS, Does not take a much more of an IDIOT to figure that out. Hell just listen to you MORONS on the C/B.


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