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Trucker Killed By Steel Beam In Freeway Accident

March 17, 1988

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A truck carrying a crane knocked out supports below a freeway overpass under construction Wednesday, dislodging a 22,000-pound steel beam that killed the driver and pierced a car’s roof, officials said.

The driver of the car escaped injury, fire Capt. Ron Cervantes.

The truck driver, who was not immediately identified, was driving about 35 mph when the crane struck the beam’s metal supports. The beam crushed the driver’s compartment, Cervantes said.

Wood and other construction debris from the overpass smashed on to the busy Interstate 5 in the 1:30 p.m. accident 15 miles north of downtown San Diego, closing the northbound route between San Diego and Los Angeles.

″It was like Lincoln Logs, falling and collapsing all around the crane truck,″ said motorist Ellen Williams, who saw the accident from a freeway ramp.

The truck driver had a state permit to use the freeway but apparently violated a prohibition against driving in areas with low clearance, Cervantes said. The construction material had reduced clearance under the overpass, he said.

Construction crews working on the overpass were uninjured.

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