THURMONT, Md. - A historic covered bridge in Frederick County is closed for repairs after a man drove an oversized box truck right through it.
The Roddy Road Covered Bridge has been located in Thurmont since 1856. It is one of eight remaining covered bridges in Maryland.
The bridge had just been repaired after being hit back in May. When witnesses saw it struck again on Thursday, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
"He has half of the bridge hooked to his truck driving down on the road,” said Jim Wolfe as he was talking to a 911 dispatcher while following the box truck.
Wolfe said he and his son witnessed that Enterprise box truck hit the bridge and keep going, so Wolfe and at least two other vehicles followed in pursuit.
Wolfe's son was recording the whole incident on a cell phone. During the nearly 7-minute video, you can see a piece of the bridge fall off the truck onto Route 15. Wolfe continued trailing the truck until the other drivers helped surround it and an officer finally arrived in an unmarked car.
The driver of the truck, David Collins Jr., was arrested. He spoke with WBFF-TV saying it was an accident and he left the scene out of fear for his safety.
“I stopped,” Collins said. “I thought these guys were trying to help me, but instead, they were like an angry mob trying to yank me out of my truck. They were cursing at me and stuff like that. So I tried to go to the nearest main road so there could be more witnesses and stuff to see what was going on.”
But the Wolfes and other witnesses told FOX 5 that he never even slowed down.
“He absolutely did not stop,” said Wolfe. “He probably had about a three-foot piece sticking out of the side of his truck of wood that was out in the lanes while he was driving up the highway. People were trying to tell him to pull over, but he wouldn't pull over. It was very dangerous. What we wanted to do is get him pulled over for everybody's safety and to take responsibility for this.”
There are warnings and height restriction signs posted on the road approaching the bridge and at the structure itself. But that didn't help.
The area remains littered with debris and support beams have been put up. The 160-year-old bridge is closed until emergency repairs can be made.
Collins is charged with failure to stop after property damage and malicious destruction of property. He was held on $5,000 bond and released Friday morning.
On Monday, the city of Frederick said the bridge will be closed indefinitely due to the severe structural damage and repairs will need to be completed by a contractor.