Truck driver William Scott of Mullen Trucking has admitted liability for the 2013 over-height truck collision that caused the Skagit River Bridge on Interstate 5 to collapse in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Scott, as well Mullen Trucking and Tammy Detray, his pilot driver during the incident, have all accepted responsibility for the bridge collapse as part of a 2015 lawsuit filed by the state, according to a report in the Skagit Valley Herald. The lawsuit is currently on hold pending an appeal by Mullen Trucking.
After reviewing the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report blaming the collapse on multiple sources, including Scott, Mullen and the pilot driver, but it also found problems with the Washington Department of Transportation and its permitting process for oversized loads. It was discovered that the permit for the oversized load was based on incorrect heights of the vehicle and that the driver failed to research the route ahead of time.
The Washington State Patrol’s report also blamed the truck driver.
On May 23, 2013, the large tractor-trailer combination with an over-height load hit multiple overhead braces on the bridge, severely damaging the structure and collapsing the bridge into the river. Two other vehicles also fell into the water. There were no deaths as a result of the collapse and only three people suffered minor injuries. The bridge was later repaired at a cost of $19.8 million.