Police Investigate Crash That Damaged Scranton Bridge

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SCRANTON -- Police in Scranton think they've identified the truck and its driver that clipped the top of bridge in the city last week.

PennDOT officials say the bridge needs to be replaced. It will be closed for months and the work will cost about $1 million dollars.

Police spent the weekend piecing together what happened on Friday morning. That's when they say a truck scraped the bottom of the bridge damaging each beam. On Monday, police met with prosecutors from the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office about possibly filing charges against the truck driver who caused the damage.

This strange case of hit and run started to make more sense on Friday night.

Scranton Police say someone spotted an excavator off of Drinker Street in Dunmore and it looked suspicious. The top of it was scratched and investigators found pieces of concrete stuck in the arm.

At the scene, investigators wrapped the arm with plastic wrap to preserve the evidence. They think the excavator was on the back on a flatbed truck, and that's what caused the crash.

Cops say that was a big break in the investigation. It lead them to a driver and a few other people they think may have been involved.

Police started meeting with prosecutors from the Lackawanna County DA's Office to discuss possible charges. But, so far, they're not saying much else about what happened Friday morning.

In the meantime, PennDOT officials are working on a design for the new bridge that they say will take months to build and cost about a million dollars.

Crews set up a detour that was met with some confusion from drivers.

"I got a little confused so I had to pull in here. I usually come around and get back on I-81 over here," said Maggie Gething of Lenoxville.

PennDOT says some 15,000 drivers use the bridge to get onto Interstate 81 or get downtown everyday. And, now, Norma Boone says those 15,000 drivers are in her neighborhood.

"People are impatient, it's just going to be bad," Boone said.

Boone says many drivers aren't following the posted detour and are cutting down her street, Orchard Street, instead.

Drivers say the detour is lengthy, about a half mile out-of-the-way and it adds five traffic lights more to your trip.

"It's been crazy here, a lot of people blowing their horns and yelling. It's backed up all the way to the end of the street," added Boone.

Police have not filed any charges against the person they think was the driver of the flatbed truck. They say they expect to release more information this week about what they know, what charges the driver may face, and who owns the trucks involved.

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