(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and
received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the
NTSB ISSUES SECOND INVESTIGATIVE UPDATE ON I-5 BRIDGE COLLAPSE
May 31, 2013
The National Transportation Safety Board today released a second
update in its continuing investigation into the May 23 bridge
collapse in Mount Vernon, Washington.
The accident truck and trailer, the exemplar truck and trailer,
and the pick-up truck that was on the bridge when it collapsed
have all been released. Investigators will be downloading the
airbag module from the Subaru (the other vehicle on the bridge
during the collapse) to determine if it might contain any
information relevant to the investigation.
Both the driver of the pickup truck and the driver of the Subaru
have been interviewed. Interviews with other witnesses to the
accident are ongoing.
Regarding the collapsed section of the bridge, all of the steel
structure above the water line has been removed. NTSB
investigators are documenting the entire collapsed bridge
structure as the Washington Department of Transportation
officials work to remove the remaining bridge elements from the
river. Investigators will continue documentation efforts as WDOT
removes the collapsed bridge deck (road surface) and
substructure from the water, which is expected to continue into
An NTSB investigator traveled to the headquarters of Mullen
Trucking in Alberta, Canada, to gather information on the motor
carrier’s operations, safety history, training process,
maintenance procedures and records, and other documents related
to the investigation.
In a media briefing near the accident site on May 25, the NTSB
said that Washington State does not require vertical clearance
signage to be posted unless the clearance is fourteen feet four
inches or less. Further research indicated that the actual
minimum vertical clearance over the travel lanes requiring
signage is fifteen feet three inches or less. In either
reference, the Skagit River Bridge measures greater than fifteen
feet three inches over the travel lanes and therefore does not
This is an informational release only. No interviews will be
Further investigative updates will be issued as warranted.
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