CLEVELAND – The driver of a dump truck that became stuck under a pedestrian bridge that spans Interstate 77 and East 49th Street has been cited by Cleveland police.
Joseph Gammalo, 76, of Strongsville, was cited for operating an unsafe motor vehicle and failing to pay full attention.
Police said the bed of the Interstate Safety and Service Company truck was up while Gammalo drove southbound on East 49th Street Tuesday, hitting the pedestrian bridge around 7:30 a.m.
The impact lifted the cab of the truck toward the sky and left the truck wedged between the bridge and the roadway.
A neighbor's surveillance camera caught the moment the truck struck the bridge and got stuck. He said the impact shook his house.
Rescuers used a ladder to free Gammalo, who was taken to a hospital, but was not seriously hurt, according to investigators.
The crash caused delays on I-77.
“The fear was that there was damage to the bridge, so ODOT sent out bridge inspectors to take a look,” said ODOT District 12 spokesperson Amanda McFarland.
McFarland said ODOT engineers examined the bridge's bearings and steel girders, but they found no structural damage.
“There's some minor damage, some paint scratches, things of that nature, but there is no significant damage to the structural integrity of the bridge,” she said.
ODOT closed all but one lane in each direction of I-77 as the truck was carefully lowered to the ground. Inspectors then reexamined the bridge and the highway was fully reopened before 11 a.m.
A similar crash involving a dump truck in 2013 destroyed a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 90 near East 177th Street, shutting down the highway for several days.