Update: Semi Falls Through Yell Co. Bridge into River, Driver Escapes Unharmed

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YELL COUNTY, Ark. – “He had to be crazy,” says a Yell County resident. 

Ray Robinson lives on Dale Bend Road he said they get a lot of wild traffic at night but nothing like this.

“They got a mess to clean up.”

Wednesday night a driver in an 18 wheeler attempted to cross the Dale Bend River bridge while following his GPS but the bridge couldn’t hold the weight … collapsing.

“We are very fortunate that it didn’t go underwater and the gentleman was able to get out of the vehicle without any injury,” says Jeff Gilkey.

The driver called 911, who got in contact with Jeff Gilkey, director of Yell County Office of Emergency Management.

“I contacted dispatch again and said, ‘tell me one more time what you said.'”

Gilkey says this is the first big rig that’s tried to cross the bridge and he hopes it will be the last.

“It’s a 6-ton weight limit for a semi and the truck was 64,000 pounds over the weight limit.”

The out-of-state driver was cited and the county is working with the trucking company on how to get the semi untangled from the bridge and out of the water.

“We know it’s going to be a long process to get it out. Hopefully within a week or so we can have the truck out and start making plans for a new bridge.”

“They just have to get to lifting and pulling.”

Thursday morning update:

The Yell County Office of Emergency Management posted the following pictures of the accident scene this morning.

Crews will be working today to clean up the area.

Original Story:

YELL COUNTY, Ark. – Sheriff Bill Gilkey confirms the Dale Bend Bridge has collapsed and an 18 wheeler that had been driving over it fell into the Petit Jean River. 

The accident happened around 8 p.m. in Ola. The bridge is located between U.S. 154 and Hwy 10.

The driver was able to escape unharmed. 

The sheriff says the driver was following GPS instructions and that this bridge is not fit for a truck of that size. 

According to the website bridgehunter.com this bridge was built in 1930. 

Sheriff Gilkey says the truck was carrying processed chicken headed to Danville. 

Several agencies including the Office of Emergency Services and the Ola Fire Department were at the scene. 

Photo courtesy Trisha Holt.

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