Man charged over motorway bridge collapse in Kent, England

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reports yesterday indicated a 63-year-old man has been charged in connection with the collapse of a pedestrian bridge onto the M20 motorway in Kent, England last year.

Overlooking the M20, from file.
Image: David Anstiss.

The unidentified man has been summonsed to appear at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on February 17. As well as dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving he also faces three counts of criminal damage covering the bridge and damaged vehicles. The nonfatal accident left an elderly motorcyclist with broken ribs after he came off his bike avoiding the 170 tonnes of falling debris.

Two lorries were partially crushed by the collapse, which was triggered when a digger on the back of a lorry struck the concrete bridge. Kent Police continue to investigate; Highways England have said they will await that probe's results before deciding if they will launch their own.

The August 27 collapse caused millions of pounds of damage, and closed a major route for more than 24 hours. Police sent several vehicles to the scene and 25 firefighters attended. An air ambulance also responded.

Workers with cranes toiled overnight to clear the road, which provides access to London as well as the Channel Tunnel and Port of Dover. The road was again closed one week later to collect the fallen bridge sections, which were sent to Highways England depots for investigators.

The collapse occurred on one of the busiest days of the year for the local road network.


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