Denver Girder Collapse

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Investigators looking into this weekend's bridge collapse say they received warning a girder was shifting about an hour before the accident that killed three people.

The coroner has identified the family killed by the falling 40-ton girder as William and Anita Post of Evergreen, and their two-year-old daughter, Coby Ann.

Major Jim Wolfenbarger of the State Patrol says the warning sign was missed because a state patrol dispatcher misunderstood a concerned motorist.

The state patrol received a call from the motorist at 8:51 am, saying he used to work in bridge construction. He said an I-beam installed in the bridge over I-70 appeared to be shifting a few feet.

The dispatcher repeated back to him that it was a sign he was concerned about hanging over the highway. He did not correct her.

A road crew was dispatched and found a fallen sign on C-470, above where the girder collapsed about a half-hour later. The dispatcher has been put on paid leave pending the results of the investigation.

Billy and Anita Post moved to Colorado from New York with their daughter about a year ago. Friends say they came to the state looking for a safer place to raise a family. All three died Saturday, when a 40 ton steel girder came crashing down onto their sport utility vehicle as they drove down east bound Interstate 70.

The president of Asphalt Specialties, the prime contracting company in charge of the C470 bridge project, says the loss of the three lives in the accident is devastating. Daniel Hunt issued a written statement Monday morning.

It reads: "This is a tragic incident that has shaken us deeply and the loss of three lives has been devastating us. We are fully complying with NTSB's investigation as we want to find out exactly what happened so we can make certain it never occurs again."

The National Transportation Safety Board and several other agencies are still investigating the cause of the accident.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says their preliminary investigation shows, the braces holding the girder in place had come lose. But, they add, the braces do not appear to have been tampered with.

Colorado based Asphalt Specialties is involved in at least seven construction projects statewide, worth an estimated $61million.


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