Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is Closed After a Big Rig Wreck
We have written on a number of occasions about the dangers posed by the bridges and tunnels that link together the cities of Hampton Roads.
The bridges carry a large number of commercial vehicles, posing dangers to other road users as well as massive congestion when accidents do occur.
On Monday an accident on the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) involving a tractor-trailer led to the closure of the I-664 between Newport News and Suffolk.
Police said two cars and a tractor-trailer collided and one of the vehicles overturned. The call came in around at 11:47 a.m. on Monday.
According to 511, all lanes are closed while crews work to clear the scene.
Jim Hurley of Cooper Hurley talks about dangerous bridges and tunnels in Hampton Roads
Traffic was being rerouted to College Drive in the aftermath of this multi-vehicle accident.
The Monitor Merrimac has been the scene of a number of high profile crashes involving big trucks. In 2014, a box truck driver was charged after his vehicle smashed into the jersey wall of the bridge, ripping off the side of the vehicle, which hung over the James River.
The 74-year-old driver hit the rear of a 2013 Honda Accord after northbound traffic had slowed down on the bridge. The impact pushed the Accord into the left side barrier, and the truck ran off the road hitting a sign pole and the wall, according to authorities. He was charged with traveling too closely.
It was not the first time a truck ended up hanging over the MMBT. In 2013, a tractor-trailer lost control, hit the concrete wall and ended up dangling over the side of the bridge. A metal pole prevented the rig from going into the river. In that case, the driver was trapped inside the cab and was rescued by firefighters.
The driver of a tractor-trailer who drove off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel earlier in 2014 was not so fortunate.
The truck hit a maintenance vehicle before crashing through a guardrail and into the water. Investigators said the truck driver failed to notice the lane closure until it was too late and swerved, causing the tractor-trailer to jackknife on the northbound span of the bridge. No maintenance workers were injured in the accident but the truck driver was killed.
Out of control tractor-trailers and box trucks are a menace on the bridges and in the tunnels of Hampton Roads and they can cause serious injuries or deaths to other road users. Cooper Hurley’s attorneys authored The Best Book About Virginia Trucking Accidents which is available free of charge via our website. Call 757.455.0077 if you or a loved one has been injured in Hampton Roads, Virginia or in north eastern North Carolina.