A video going viral on Facebook shows a truck driver carrying a heavy equipment load plowing over the suspension bridge. The driver hit signs to even get onto the bridge.
It’s been shared over 500 times and was sent to 7News by a viewer who would like to remain anonymous.
The viewer said he took the footage because he’s tired of seeing drivers abusing a bridge that is special to Wheeling.
“The bridge is over 150 years old those cables are aging,” said deputy chief Marty Kimball, Wheeling Police department.
The Ford F350 and farm trailer crossed about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Deputy Chief Kimball estimates the load weighs over 10,000 pounds, well over the 2-ton limit.
“I don’t know why people fail to see the signage and they continue to do this. Obviously, they just don’t care,” said Kimball.
Because of that video, police were able to identify the driver, who was from out of town in Ohio. He is facing traffic citations of an overweight vehicle and failure to obey traffic control device.
“Those people need to be brought into court and face the punishment,” Kimball added.
The deputy chief reminds drivers when you cross need to maintain a 50-foot distance, and because of the steel decking, you need to drive slowly.
Kimball said this is an ongoing problem, he’s in talks with the Department of Highways to change the signage.
“I think something needs to be done, either we need to move those blockage farther back, put bigger clearer signs farther back. Some people are claiming they don’t see them, I don’t know why it’s your job to see those signs,” said Kimball.
The deputy chief said he can’t staff an officer at the bridge around the clock, so he needs citizens to keep making phone calls and safely taking pictures and videos if they see something.
“It is a historical bridge, it played a key part in the making of our nation, so to see someone just negligently damage it is heartbreaking,” said Kimball.
Kimball said there are no plans from the DOH yet to close the bridge for inspection after the truck crossed.