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Too-Tall Truck Hits Top Of Bailey Bridge In Amesbury

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV New Hampshire Bureau Chief
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AMESBURY (CBS) – A truck driver apparently failed in his attempted solution to a math and geometry problem when he tried to fit his 13-foot-6-inch high tractor-trailer under the 10-foot-3-inch high Bailey Bridge in Amesbury Friday morning.

The trailer on his rig was totaled.

“I should have been more careful,” truck driver James Barry of North Carolina said.

Damage to the trailer can be seen on this truck after the driver tried to fit under the too-low top of the Bailey Bridge in Amesbury on June 20, 2014. (Photo by Steven MacDonald)

Damage to the trailer can be seen on this truck after the driver tried to fit under the too-low top of the Bailey Bridge in Amesbury on June 20, 2014. (Photo by Steven MacDonald)

Barry said he never saw any of the warning signs leading up to the bridge over the Pow Wow River.

“I was coming down that road, as soon as I passed the curve I didn’t see no low bridge sign,” he said. “It caught the edge of my trailer.”

After the top of the trailer hit the bridge, Barry was able to back out.

Some debris from the trailer ended up dangling from the top of the bridge.

Officers on the scene said Barry acknowledged seeing the warning signs prior to the crash.

“He did say he saw them but by that point he was well into the area,” said Amesbury police Officer Robert Chatigny. “For some reason he made the attempt to go over the bridge and he got caught.”

But Barry told WBZ-TV he never saw the signs.

GPS led him to the route, something local police say is a problem.

At least two trucks hit the bridge each year according to Amesbury police Lt. William Scholtz.

But Barry admits that’s no excuse.

“As a professional driver stuff like that shouldn’t happen,” Barry said. “That’s stupidity on my behalf.”

The damage to the bridge was just cosmetic and the bridge reopened at 12:30 Friday afternoon after it was checked out by MassDOT inspectors.

Barry had just dropped off cargo in Salisbury and was on his way to Rhode Island.

He’ll now head back to his company’s headquarters in Ohio.

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