Texas bridge collapse kills child, injures woman

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Bridge collapse near Sealy kills child and injures a woman (KTRK)

An accident involving a bridge and an 18-wheeler has killed a child and seriously injured a woman near Sealy, Texas. Now police are treating the accident as a homicide investigation.

The intersection of Highway 36 at Highway 90 has been shut down after the big rig crashed into an overpass. Part of the highway bridge collapsed, and debris from the damaged bridge hit a car.

Brein Bollock, a 12-year-old who was riding in the front seat of the car, died from her injuries. Her brother, 9-year-old Breanbon Gardner, was in the back seat and was able to get out safely. Leah Bollock, 35, was driving. She was rushed to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital with a chest injury. She is in critical condition, but authorities say her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

PHOTOS: Deadly bridge accident in Sealy

Investigators say part of the overpass fell on top of their vehicle after the disposal truck's boom struck the overpass, causing the partial collapse. A TxDOT crane from a nearby construction site was brought in to lift the concrete section off the car.

Facebook video from the scene courtesy of viewer Carlos Gutierrez Lopez:
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Viewer video of a bridge collapse in Sealy

The truck belongs to Texas Disposal Systems, Inc., out of Buda, Texas. The company is up to date on their inspections and does not have a notable history of accidents. The truck driver, Carl Weige, 72, was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy. His condition is not known.

Sealy Police Chief Chris Noble says the truck delivers dumpsters and had just dropped one off, but the boom was still raised. The truck hit the warning device that hangs over the roadway to alert drivers that they may hit the bridge. Noble says the warning indicators were struck, but the truck didn't stop. It hit the bridge so hard that it knocked off a section of concrete and dislodged the steel beam.

Austin County Judge Tim Lapham confirmed this bridge had been struck before -- on a regular basis. The state has it scheduled to be replaced in 2017, with the bidding process about to begin.

Lapham said it has been a problem for a long time. He added that the bridge was hit last year, and he was hoping it would be replaced then, but it wasn't. He told KTRK-TV no serious injuries have occurred in the accidents, to the judge's knowledge, because usually the equipment bears the brunt of the damage.
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