**UPDATE** OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/28/20) — Kentucky State Police troopers have identified and charged the driver of the gas truck that struck the Panther Creek bridge May 18 in Daviess County. Willis M. Fagan, 53, of Livermore, was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Fagan was operating a 1997 GMC flatbed truck belonging to United Propane Gas in Livermore.
Tuesday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 2 stated the bridge would not be reopened to traffic after a damage analysis was completed.
“We are working closely with the Secretary’s office in Frankfort to secure the funds necessary to replace the existing structure,” said Chief District Engineer, Deneatra Henderson. “We are considering a design-build style procurement to allow us to expedite the process. Typically, projects of this nature tend to move a little faster.”
While the damage is very similar to what occurred in August of 2019, the heat-straitening technique used to repair the bridge cannot be used again, as the steel is already brittle from previous repairs. This was demonstrated during this impact with the evidence of cracking along the bolt holes at some of the beams. Because of this, engineers in the KYTCBridge Division have determined that the bridge cannot reopen, and repairs would not be cost-effective when compared to the cost of replacement.
Traffic on KY 81 is being routed along a marked detour on KY 554 and U.S. 431. Motorists should use appropriate caution along the detour, and larger vehicles should not attempt to shorten their route by making the turns with Todd Bridge Rd. There are variable message boards along the route to encourage motorists to stay on the marked detour.
The investigation is on-going.
The KSP thanked the public and the media for helping with the investigation.
**UPDATE** OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/26/20) — The Kentucky State Police has released an actual photo of the propane truck that hit the Panther Creek bridge last Monday. In the earlier press release on this investigation, the KSP included a photo of a truck similar to the one that hit the bridge. An actual photo was discovered later through a search of surveillance camera footage along the route the truck drove.
Kentucky State Police Post 16 is still looking for information on the owner/operator of the truck. See the original story below for more information.
OWENSBORO, Ky. — Kentucky State Police troopers are investigating the wreck which caused the Panther Creek bridge on KY 81, in Daviess County, to be shut down. Several witnesses identified the truck in the photo as the vehicle that struck the bridge pillars damaging its structural integrity.
This occurred Monday, May 18, 2020, around 2-2:55 p.m. Witnesses said the crane on the truck was left up and struck all support pillars.
Troopers are asking anyone who had a propane tank removed or delivered around that time and/or knows the owner/operator of the truck, pictured above, to contact KSP Post 16 at 270-826-3312.