Driver Hit By Tulsa Bridge Debris In Critical Condition


Wednesday, July 29th 2009, 9:49 am
By: News On 6


By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Claremore man is fighting for his life after getting hit in the chest with a 20-pound chunk of concrete. 

Police say a 23-year-old Tulsa driver hit a guardrail that caused slabs of concrete to fall off a bridge.

Police say Trisha Salcedo was driving with a suspended license when she crashed into the guardrail on the 46th Street North Bridge. 

The crash resulted in chunks of concrete falling to Highway 169, leaving another 65-year-old driver in critical condition.

The wreck caused a major traffic headache during rush hour. 

Cars were backed on Highway 169 for a mile and a half.  Police say 23-year-old Trisha Salcedo lost control of her pickup on the 46th Street North Bridge. 

"Wet roads. It started raining.  The roads were oily. She came up, and she's in a pickup truck.  She just lost control on the wet roads," said Tulsa Police Corporal Brian Collom.

Salcedo crashed into the guardrail, and chunks of concrete fell to the highway below.  The concrete hit three cars.  Two drivers were not hurt, but a 20 pound chunk of concrete smashed through the third windshield and struck Floyd Hughes in the chest.

"He's got real low blood pressure, and they're very concerned because he took a pretty good hit to the right side of his chest due to the wreck," said Tulsa Police Corporal Brian Collom.

Remarkably, Hughes was able to stay focused enough to keep on driving past the bridge and safely pull over to the side of the road.  He's now in critical condition at a Tulsa hospital.

According to NewsOn6.com's Bridge Tracker, the bridge was built in 1961.  ODOT considers the bridge structurally deficient and inspects it every two years.  Its most recent inspection was scheduled for last November. 

"As far as the integrity and the structure of the bridge, its fine," said Martin Stewart with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Trisha Salcedo was not injured and she was not taken into custody.  Police tell The News On 6 her license was suspended in July of 2007.

Tulsa Police say the investigation is ongoing.  They say Salcedo hasn't been issued any citations yet, but investigators say citations and even criminal charges could come in the future.