Truck driver blames lack of speed for deadly Basin Bridge crash

Local

After being closed since Monday, I-10 is now open.
It was closed after five 18 wheelers crashed on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Kennedi Walker spoke to some truck drivers who say they’ve seen this sort of thing happen all the time.

Tracy Alexander has been a truck driver for more than 20 years.


“You make good money out here and you can take care of your family,” he said.


Following in his grandfather’s footsteps he says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else. 


“When I was younger, I used to always see him coming home in a truck and I fell in love with it like that,” he said.


With the job comes its ups and downs. One of the downs being severe wrecks.


“In 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of accidents, fatalities, reckless drivers, all kind of stuff out here,” he said.


Alexander says Monday’s crash that involved five 18 wheelers and took someone’s life, may have been prevented if the speed on the Basin Bridge was higher.


“It’s a little slow, I wish it was faster,” he said.  


Rodney Mallett from the Department of Transportation says there’s been a lot of accidents in the area, but speed isn’t the main cause.


“We looked at the number of crashes that we have between Lafayette and Baton Rouge on that stretch of I10 a couple years ago, and more than 70% of the crashes in that area occur because of distracted driving,” Mallett said.


Mallett said state police is doing an investigation on the crash but right now the cause is unknown. 


The speed limit on the Basin Bridge is 55mph for trucks and 60mph for cars.

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