Bobcat machine clearing snow falls through bridge, injures 3

Posted: Updated:

Authorities say that three people were hurt when a Bobcat snow removal machine fell through a pedestrian bridge onto a highway in Passaic County.

Hawthorne police say that it happened around 11 a.m. Monday as the driver was clearing snow from the Ethel Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, which crosses over Route 208 near the Goffle Road exit. The bridge partially collapsed, causing the Bobcat to fall on to a truck that was passing by below.

“The van got hit really bad. Imagine that thing falling when you're coming in the van. Gotta be scary,” says Hawthorne resident Bob Botto.

Botto says that he has lived near the bridge for 40 years and has never seen anything like what happened Monday. He says that the bridge is typically cleared of snow by hand.

“This is the first time I’ve seen them use a piece of equipment that big on it, rather than someone shoveling,” he says.

Route 208 was closed for most of Monday following the accident. Crews say that they hope to have the highway reopened by Tuesday morning.

The bridge is also being evaluated by engineers. The New Jersey Department of Transportation says the agency owns the Ethel Avenue Pedestrian Bridge but Passaic County is responsible for its maintenance. The agency says it was last inspected in 2013 and was scheduled to be checked again this year.

Officials say that there are no federal inspection requirements for pedestrian bridges.

The extent of the injuries was not made clear.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."