Bobcat snow removal machine plunges through overpass, hits truck; 3 injured

HAWTHORNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Three people are hospitalized after a Bobcat snow removal machine plunged through a pedestrian overpass onto the roof of an oncoming truck in Passaic County.

It happened at 11:03 a.m. Monday on Route 208 North just south of the Goffle Road exit in Hawthorne.

Police say the Bobcat operator was clearing snow from a pedestrian footbridge when the machine fell through the flooring of the bridge onto the cab of the truck, which was in motion at the time.

Video from NewsCopter7 showed heavy damage to the front of the truck, which is marked "Hawthorne Mechanical Contractors."

Three people were taken to area hospitals. There was no immediate word on their conditions.

All lanes of Route 208 North and the left lane of Route 208 South were shut down for the rest of day as police investigated, crews worked to clear the damaged vehicles and inspectors surveyed the damage to the bridge.

Late Monday afternoon, authorities said all lanes would be back open by Tuesday morning.
EMBED More News Videos

Police say the Bobcat operator was clearing snow from a pedestrian footbridge when the machine fell through the flooring of the bridge onto the cab of the truck, which was in motio


New Jersey State Police, the NJ Department of Transportation, the Passaic County Prosecutors Office and the Hawthorne Police Department are all involved in the investigation.

NJDOT provided the following statement to Eyewitness News Monday afternoon:

Pedestrian footbridges are not designed to carry vehicles and therefore don't have posted weight limits like a bridge carrying cars and trucks. NJDOT owns the bridge. However, maintenance is the responsibility of the county.

NJDOT inspects pedestrian bridges approximately every five years. This bridge was last inspected in 2013 and was scheduled to be inspected this year. Federal regulations require bridges that carry vehicular traffic to be inspected every two years, however there are no federal inspection requirements for pedestrian bridges.

The bridge has been closed and NJDOT engineers are evaluating the structure. At this time it is too early to speculate what might be necessary.


Eyewitness News is told the footbridge is used daily by school children to get back and forth to school. Area residents also use the bridge.

----------
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.