One dead, two hurt when truck hits span in Mall of America ramp

  • Updated: August 3, 2012 - 11:58 PM

A rental truck struck the concrete-and-steel support beam. Two others in the truck were hurt.

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A 52-year-old man was killed Friday night when a rental truck he was driving struck a concrete-and-steel support beam in the West parking lot at the Mall of America and the beam fell on his vehicle, Bloomington police said.

Two other people in the truck who suffered noncritical injuries were taken to hospitals.

The narrow rectangular span collapsed when it was struck by the U-Haul truck, which was taller than the driving space, Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Rick Hart said. The heavy beam then fell on the truck's cab, crushing it.

The incident appeared to be an accident, Hart said.

Vehicles that exceed the height limit for the ramp get tapped by a hanging device when they enter, but the truck driver may not have been aware of that, Hart said. The truck hit the first overhead span it came to, just inside the entrance, he said.

It happened about 8:30 p.m. As of 9:45 p.m., the body of the victim had not been removed from the truck's cab, police said.

A structural engineering team was examining damage at the scene, the north side of the West parking lot, authorities said. That entrance was closed after the accident, but officials were expected to decide overnight whether to reopen it for business Saturday. Just after the accident, other motorists were allowed to leave using the West lot's south exit.

The victim's identity will be released by the Hennepin County medical examiner. Hart didn't know where the driver was from or what was in the truck, if anything.

BILL MCAULIFFE

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