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Whitestone Bridge Reopened After Friday Accident

Mar 30, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

A construction truck traveling across the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in New York City hit an overhead sign last Friday afternoon,  causing it to crash onto all five lanes of the bridge deck.  Two people in the truck were injured, and the bridge was closed for several hours.

The accident resulted in the closure of the Whitestone Bridge in both directions, and traffic was rerouted to  the Throgs Neck or Robert F. Kennedy Bridges.  The bridge was reopened around 7:00 p.m. Friday.

According to The New York Times, the truck was operated by Alpha Painting and Construction Company, a contractor for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that had been hired to paint the bridge’s towers. The vehicle was described as a pick-up truck with "cherry-picker" type boom attached.

According to a witness interviewed by WPIX News, the truck apparently failed to lower its boom.  The boom was caught on the overhead sign as it passed underneath, causing it to topple.

"I heard twisting metal and I looked in my rear-view mirror and I could see the bottom of the truck with the front wheels off the ground," the witness told WPIX News. "The boom had got caught on that sign and almost flipped that car entirely over."  The truck was standing on its back wheels for a short time before it came crashing to the ground.

Two people  who had been sitting in the back of the pickup fell off as a result of the impact.  According to The New York Times, one had a head injury and another had a fracture leg.  Both men were taken to New York Queens Hospital.

No other motorists or passengers were hurt.  However, one car - a Mercedes - did sustain damage.

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