Clearance can be a real challenge for a truck driver. Especially inexperienced drivers of rental boxtrucks seem to be quite oblivious to the warning signs and flashing “overheight” warning lights at this railroad trestle in Durham, NC. So frequently do trucks crash into the 11-foot-8 clearance trestle, that the railroad company installed a crash beam in front of it. This massive steel I-beam bears the brunt of the impact, protecting the structure that supports this fairly busy railroad track. Believe it or not – they already had to replace the beam once!
In April 2008, I set up a camera in one of our offices at Brightleaf Square and started recording the traffic at the bridge. The idea was that eventually I’d record a crash. Just a few weeks later a truck crashed into the trestle and I had my first recording. In June 2009, I set up another camera in a storefront across the street, and since then I have been recording the crashes from two angles (most of the time).
The videos of these crashes document the severity of the impact, and they show how frequently these crashes produce a real hazard for pedestrians and other vehicles.