Big rig tumbles off San Mateo Bridge

A big-rig truck plunged off the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge and crashed 20 feet to the ground, leaving its empty flatbed trailer seesawing on the bridge’s railing Monday afternoon.

Miraculously, neither the driver nor anyone on the ground was injured; the truck landed in a Caltrans service yard where, moments earlier, workers had been parked. Traffic on the mid-Peninsula was snarled for hours after the accident was cleared.

The cause of the crash was an “unsafe turning movement to the right, causing him to lose control” of his rig, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

At 2:02 p.m. the driver of a big rig with an empty flatbed trailer traveling eastbound and approaching the incline lost control and struck the south railing, said CHP Officer Reuben Franklin.

The cab went over, landing on its passenger side in the Caltrans yard, according to authorities. No buildings or trucks were hit when the truck fell, but the trailer was hung up on the railing, “teetering — possibly going over, possibly not,” Franklin said.

The right lane was closed for several hours before being reopened during the heart of rush hour.

Foster City Fire Battalion Chief Nick Weber said the potential for disaster was there, but the accident “was not nearly as bad as it seemed.”

Weber said after the truck was moved from below the bridge, three big-rig tow trucks lifted the trailer up and lowered it onto the ground off of the bridge, noting that Caltrans workers said they had been standing on the spot where the truck fell just minutes before the accident.

“It could’ve been extremely traumatic,but fortunately luck was with everybody,” Weber said.

dsmith@examiner.com


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