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DECORAH -- The driver of a semi tractor-trailer that disobeyed a posted weight limit on a bridge that collapsed could face charges.

Justin Hippen, 29, of Parkersburg, was driving a Sinclair Milling truck westbound on Cattle Creek Road in Winneshiek County at around 9:15 a.m. May 5 when he crossed the Upper Iowa River on Daley's Bridge, according to the Iowa State Patrol's report.

Hippen's vehicle, which was estimated at 15 tons, made it about three-fourths of the way across the bridge, which had a posted weight limit of 3 tons, when the bridge collapsed into the river, according to the report. The truck came to rest on the westside concrete support.

The truck had minor damage but the bridge was a total loss. Damage was estimated at $775,000 to the bridge and $1,700 to the truck, according to the report.

Hippen was not impaired and the roadway was clear, according to troopers.

Patrol officers in District 10, which covers Winneshiek County, said charges could be forthcoming pending a weigh-in of the truck.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said that portion of the Upper Iowa River was closed to "all boaters" until the cleanup is complete, which is expected to be by this weekend. Cleanup began Tuesday, the DNR said.

The bridge is located between Chimney Rock and Coldwater Creek.


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