Report Faults Truck Driver for I-35 Bridge Crash in Salado
A new report from the Texas Department of Public Safety faults the driver of an 18-wheeler for a crash that dislodged beams from an overpass in Salado on March 26, killing one driver and injuring three others.
According to the report, 41-year-old Valentin Martinez was being inattentive and hauling an oversized load for which he did not have a proper permit. DPS and TxDOT officials say Martinez's cargo scraped the bottom of the FM 2484 overpass spanning I-35, which caused concrete beams to fall to the highway below. The beams crushed the vehicle of 32-year-old Clark Davis of Arlington, who died at the scene.
According to the report, Martinez's cargo had an estimated clearance of 14 feet, 7 inches, which was 6.5 inches higher than the bottom of the bridge. Officials say signs were posted well in advance of the bridge.
No one has been charged in the case, but Davis' family filed a wrongful death suit against Martinez and his employer, Lares Trucking, in April.