Truck strikes Nooksack River bridge, unknown if damage is critical

A bent crossbeam on the Nooksack River bridge at Guide Meridian is shown Monday, Sept. 12.
A bent crossbeam on the Nooksack River bridge at Guide Meridian is shown Monday, Sept. 12. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Guide Meridian at the Nooksack River bridge south of Lynden remains open after a northbound truck struck and bent one of the span’s crossbeams about 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12.

A state Department of Transportation crew has examined the bridge, but a decision on its stability is awaiting an evaluation by a bridge inspector, Washington State Patrol Sgt. Mark Francis said.

One lane of the northbound Guide was closed late Monday afternoon as DOT inspectors evaluated the bridge’s structural integrity.

Francis said the bridge was hit by the extended winch of a flatbed cargo truck that hauls large containers for a Lynden-area recycling company.

“What actually hit the bridge was the winch itself,” Francis said.

No injuries were reported. The truck was not carrying a load

Francis said the truck is registered to Z Recyclers Inc., which offers metal recycling and sales on Guide Meridian near Hemmi Road. Its driver was Kevin A. Kerr, 59, of Bellingham. No citation has been issued pending an investigation, Francis said.

The company issued a statement about the incident late Monday.

“We’re glad that nobody was injured in this accident and regret any inconvenience this may have caused local drivers,” said Dan Thompson, president of Z Recyclers.

“We’re investigating the cause and cooperating with local authorities because we take safety very seriously. We haven’t had a traffic accident involving one of our vehicles in more than 30 years and the experienced driver in this incident had a clean record without even a speeding ticket.”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty