Morning commute moving along after collapse

Overpass collapse on I-75 in Cincinnati. (Photo/WLWT)
Overpass collapse on I-75 in Cincinnati. (Photo/WLWT)

CINCINNATI (AP) – Part of a Cincinnati interstate was open again to traffic Wednesday as an investigation continued into the deadly overpass accident that killed a worker and injured a truck driver.

The removal of tons of debris from Interstate 75 began Tuesday afternoon and was completed by nighttime, allowing the closed southbound lanes to reopen to traffic. The state Department of Transportation says minor repairs were made.

Transportation officials said heavy equipment was being used to separate a concrete deck from structural steel when the span fell Monday night.

Police say casualties could have been much higher had the late-night collapse happened at a busy time on the interstate, which carries more than 178,000 vehicles a day through the area five miles north of the Ohio River.

Authorities identified the worker who was killed as Brandon William Carl, of Augusta, Kentucky. The Hamilton County coroner’s office will do an autopsy to determine the cause of his death. Fire officials said his body was recovered from rubble with the help of air bags and special equipment early Tuesday morning, about four hours after the accident.

Carl was a good, honest, hardworking man who took care of his children, his father, Charles Carl, told WCPO-TV.

The tractor-trailer driver, Eric J. Meyers, of Howell, Michigan, slammed into the overpass as the debris landed. He was taken to a hospital with what were described as minor injuries.

Westerville-based Kokosing Construction was doing the demolition under a nearly $91 million contract for a three-year project meant to improve traffic capacity and safety in a busy stretch of I-75. The company had a good safety track record, federal regulators said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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