Crane Accidents

Interstate 40 Closes After Crane Mishap

06/27/00

Amarillo, Texas

A crane fell from a flat-bed trailer onto Interstate 40 Monday, closing eastbound lanes of traffic. Initial efforts to upright the crane were unsuccessful, but workers were able to turn over the crane after three hours of work.

The truck, owned by L.A. Fuller and Sons of Amarillo and driven by Andrew Darling, 41, was eastbound on I-40 over the Crockett Street overpass at 6:20 p.m. when the crane began to tip off the trailer, said Amarillo Police Department Sgt. Daniel Aguirre.  A crane fell from a flat-bed trailer onto Interstate 40 Monday, closing eastbound lanes of traffic. Initial efforts to upright the crane were unsuccessful, but workers were able to turn over the crane after three hours of work.

The truck, owned by L.A. Fuller and Sons of Amarillo and driven by Andrew Darling, 41, was eastbound on I-40 over the Crockett Street overpass at 6:20 p.m. when the crane began to tip off the trailer, said Amarillo Police Department Sgt. Daniel Aguirre.

The accident happened after traffic slowed to accommodate the narrowing of I-40 to one lane in the construction zone, and the driver applied his brakes, Aguirre said.

The truck scraped along the concrete divider, causing the load to shift.

Tie-downs on the flat bed failed, and the crane tipped onto the concrete divider, crushing it and sending chunks of concrete cascading onto Crockett. The crane eventually came to rest on a steel guardrail, which bent under its weight.

No one was injured in the accident, but if the crane had tipped off the trailer 20 feet sooner, it would have dropped straight onto traffic on Crockett, 50 feet below.

Diesel from the crane’s fuel tank spilled onto the embankment, but was absorbed into the soil. Firefighters stood by during the operation in case of fire.

A front-end loader from L.A. Fuller first tried to pull the crane upright, but the chain immediately snapped. Highway workers then used torches to cut the guardrail from beneath the crane, and two heavy rescue tow trucks attached chains to four different locations on the crane to pull it over.

Initial attempts to tip the crane failed, as the top-heavy weight of the crane would not allow it to be tipped upright. The front-end loader drove onto the steep embankment and lifted the crane while the tow trucks positioned on the overpass pulled on the body of the vehicle, and they were able to tip it upright.

Dozens of bystanders lined the frontage road and watched as workers tried to upright the crane.

Police and Amarillo Emergency Services personnel diverted traffic off the Georgia Street exit onto the frontage road as workers tried to salvage the crane.

Category: Accident Report

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