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Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Too-tall truck meets too-low bridge: Modular home shattered against North Benson span

Updated 6:16 pm, Thursday, December 19, 2013

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  • North Benson Road was closed Thursday morning while crews cleaned up the debris from an oversized load that hit the railroad overpass around 4 a.m. Photo: Genevieve Reilly / Fairfield Citizen
    North Benson Road was closed Thursday morning while crews cleaned up the debris from an oversized load that hit the railroad overpass around 4 a.m. Photo: Genevieve Reilly

 

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A modular home being trucked -- with a State Police escort -- to Reef Road was destroyed early Thursday when, trying to navigate under the North Benson Road railroad overpass, it proved to be too tall and splintered apart after smashing into the underside of the span.

The collision caused pieces of the modular home to topple off the trailer and land in the roadway just before 4 a.m.

North Benson Road remained closed all morning as state crews cleaned up the debris.

According to police, a driver from RJF-Keiser Industries, LLC, based in Oxford, Maine was driving south on North Benson Road after leaving Interstate 95, escorted by a company car and a State Police cruiser. Another State Police cruiser followed behind the trailer.

The route approved for the oversized load called for it to leave I-95 at Exit 23 (Kings Highway), where the are no bridges to pass under. However, the driver told police they got off the wrong exit.

After the first state trooper passed under the North Benson bridge off Exit 22, he realized the truck and its load would be too high and radioed back to the second state trooper in an effort to stop the truck. The second trooper said he tried to catch up to the truck and activated his cruiser lights and siren, but it was too late.

The truck driver said he was checking his GPS unit, and missed the warning signs posted about the bridge's low clearance. The North Benson bridge's clearance is 10 feet, 5 inches, while the house atop the truck's flat bed was 13 feet, 6 inches high.

Police said the collision did not damage the bridge, according to an inspection by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The MTA also took over the cleanup operation.