From the Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement Facebook page.

Worst Trucker in the World: Lump of Coal edition

Dec. 28, 2015
As if working on Dec. 25 wasn't bad enough, it was about noon when a 23-year-old truck driver missed a turn or two in trying to get to the Walmart parking lot in Paoli, IN, north of Louisville. Then her Christmas really started to fall apart—along with the town's historic bridge.

As if working on Dec. 25 wasn't bad enough, it was about noon when a 23-year-old truck driver missed a turn or two in trying to get to the Walmart parking lot in Paoli, IN, north of Louisville. Then her Christmas really started to fall apart.

After failing several attempts to make the turn that would get her back on course, and then finding that a parking lot she knew would be big enough to turn the truck in was blocked by heavy equipment, she recalled a local bridge that she had crossed several times in her personal vehicle.

Unfortunately, that historic old iron bridge over Lick Creek was narrow and one lane. And posted WEIGHT LIMIT 6 TONS. With a NO TRUCKS sign. And her 2015 Volvo tractor was pulling a trailer loaded with 43,000 lbs. of bottled water, according to the police report.

Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement/Facebook

“When asked by Paoli Police why she continued through the bridge knowing the weight limit was only 6 tons she admitted to not knowing how many pounds that was,” the report says.

She also was not a very good judge of height, apparently: “When the semi entered the bridge the trailer immediately began ripping open due to the trailer was taller than the top of the bridge,” the police report explains. “As the vehicle continued the weight of the vehicle caused the bridge to collapse.”

The driver and her 17 year old female cousin, who was along for the ride, were unharmed.

As to why the driver, who received her CDL endorsement in May, tried to cross the bridge, “she wasn’t comfortable backing the semi up,” the report reports. The driver was charged with reckless operation of a tractor-trailer, a class B misdemeanor; disregarding a traffic control device; and overweight on posted bridge.

Orange County Indiana Law Enforcement/Facebook

According to a local official, the bridge was built in 1880 and was "one of the few things left in Paoli that's historical."

As with other Worst Trucker in the World (WTITW) posts, names are withheld because the point is to educate, not to humiliate. So, to that end, two words: “backing skills”—because wrong turns happen to the best of us.

Got a main-stream media report of a trucker behaving badly from which the rest of us could learn a little something? Pass it along. But please address all complaints to Keith Olbermann.

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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