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Bridge Collapses in Second Tennessee Accident this Month

April 16, 1989

MARLOW, Tenn. (AP) _ A 30-foot-tall, wooden bridge over railroad tracks collapsed Saturday night, killing one person and seriously injuring two others in the second bridge accident in Tennessee this month.

The collapse occurred as a pickup truck was trying to cross the bridge, said Sgt. Thomas Mallory of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. No other vehicles were on the bridge when it buckled, authorities said.

Vehicle and rail traffic was rerouted, said Gordon Disney, a dispatcher for an ambulance service in nearby Clinton.

A 25-foot section of the 75-foot-long bridge collapsed, he said. Authorities did not say if the truck caused the collapse.

The bridge is on a rural county road near Oliver Springs in eastern Tennessee.

The victim was identified as Wesley Gallaher, 16. Gallaher’s brothers, ages 14 and 16, were in serious condition Saturday night at Oak Ridge’s Methodist Medical Center, a hospital nursing supervisor said.

The state was ordered to re-evaluate its bridge inspection program following the April 1 collapse of a bridge over the Hatchie River near Memphis that sent eight people plunging to their deaths.

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