SEALY, Texas – The truck company that crashed into a bridge over a highway has a history of violations with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Channel 2 Investigates has discovered.
The violations by Texas Disposal Systems of Buda, Texas, are not classified as acute or critical violations.
Brein Bullock, 12, died, and her mother, 35-year-old Leah Bullock, was injured Thursday morning after a truck crashed into an Old Highway 90 bridge, causing debris to fall on top their car on Highway 36. The TDS truck was driven by 72-year-old Carl Weige.
In past inspections, the Department of Transportation found TDS drivers not using seat belts, speeding and talking on a cell phone, among violations going back to 2014.
TDS trucks have been involved in 15 accidents since mid-2014. The most recent one happened in May in Austin. Three people were injured. The truck driver was ticketed by police.
A 39-year-old woman walking on an Austin street was killed last July when she was hit by a garbage truck owned by Texas Disposal Systems. The driver was not charged.
Department of Transpiration records show the company owns 160 trucks.
Sealy Police Chief Chris Noble said witnesses told officers the truck ignored a warning system in place to alert trucks of the height of the bridge.
Texas Disposal Systems released a statement to KPRC 2 that read, "We regret a TDS truck was involved in an incident impacting an overpass in Sealy, TX. We have been told there was a fatality and are saddened by the loss resulting from this incident. Our deepest sympathies go to the family-members and friends. An investigation is currently underway by local authorities. TDS is cooperating fully and will also be conducting its own investigation. The truck driver, as reported to us did not sustain major injuries. We will be in communication with the community and public as relevant information becomes available."
The bridge did not have significant structural problems and passed inspection in April of 2015.
The bridge has been designated as functionally obsolete.
"This particular structure was (functionally obsolete) due to the fact that the lanes weren't wide enough for the amount of traffic," TXDOT Spokeswoman, Veronica Beyer, told investigative reporter Jace Larson. "The bridge was not deficient."
If you have a tip about this story or another story idea for investigative reporter Jace Larson, email or text him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-493-3951.
Sky 2 over the scene where debris from a bridge fell on a car, killing a child after a truck hit the bridge. The mother was transported by Life Flight. DETAILS-->http://bit.ly/29zmvKyPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, July 7, 2016
Video from the scene in Sealy where debris from a bridge collapsed on a car after it was struck by a truck. A girl was killed and his mother sent to the hospital. Sky 2 over the scene-->http://bit.ly/29zmvKyPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, July 7, 2016