Semi hits bridge in Chippewa County, drops load; car driver dies

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 4, 2013 - 9:35 PM

A semitrailer truck failed by more than a foot to squeeze under a railroad crossing Monday morning in western Minnesota, knocking huge metal hoppers off the truck and onto a passing car, authorities said.

The driver of the car, George J. Piasecki, 61, of Granite Falls, died; the truck driver, Dennis R. Clark, of Vernal, Utah, was not hurt.

The incident occurred about 6:45 a.m. on Hwy. 59, just north of the Chippewa County community of Milan, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The semi was heading south on Hwy. 59 and hauling three metal hoppers used for cement, according to the police report. They measured about 10 feet in diameter and about 13 feet high. The truck hit the railroad overpass above, sending the hoppers onto the northbound car.

The load's total height was 15 1/2 feet, while the bridge clearance is 14.1 feet, the patrol said.

PAUL WALSH

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