3 injured as crane tips during Lewis Co. bridge removal

MESKILL, Wash. – A truck-mounted crane tipped over Sunday as crews from the state Department of Transportation and Lewis County were removing sections from a bridge over the Chehalis River.

Three minor injuries were reported in the accident, but there were no serious injuries, officials said.

“We’re extremely thankful - and fortunate - that no one was seriously hurt,” said Kevin Dayton, DOT'S regional administrator. "When something like this happens, it really drives it home that while we do everything we can to ensure ... safety, things can still go wrong.”

Dayton said DOT will investigate what happened thoroughly so the incident can become a learning tool for the entire department.

When it tipped, the 30-ton crane was lifting a 572-pound section of a portable, prefabricated truss bridge in the Meskill-Dryad area that connected Leudinghaus and River roads to State Route 6.

The 180-foot bridge – also known as the Leudinghaus Bailey Bridge – has been on loan from DOT to Lewis County since 2007 when a county bridge was washed out during the December floods.

Crews began dismantling the structure the first week of October for its return to DOT.

"We’re looking into what exactly caused the crane removing the bridge sections to tip in this instance, and are relieved beyond words that only minor injuries occurred and no one was seriously injured or killed."