Fatal accident on Second Street Bridge; part of car was sticking - WDRB 41 Louisville News

IMAGES: Fatal accident on Second Street Bridge; part of car was sticking out over the river

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Late in the afternoon, a replacement railing was put up Late in the afternoon, a replacement railing was put up

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD says the Second Street Bridge has reopened, about three hours after a fatal accident closed the span.

The crash happened around noon in a southbound lane. The bridge was shut down in both directions while crews worked to remove a vehicle where part of it was sticking out over the side of the bridge.

The trunk was open with a turning light still flashing as the back of the car pulled off part of the bridge railing.  The front of the car was torn apart, with some of the engine visible.

A white sheet covered the woman's body inside.

Russell Roberts was walking along the bridge and saw the crash:  "She swerved over and went airborne and smacked a pole right here and she hit it hard."

Louisville Metro Police say the woman, believed to be in her mid-20s, hit an iron support on the bridge. LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell explains, "Our preliminary investigation reveals that a white female was driving the BMW, southbound on Second Street, apparently for some unknown reason drifted into the northbound lanes of traffic, then back into the southbound lanes of traffic where she lost control."

Police say she was not wearing a seatbelt.

Roberts says he briefly talked to the woman before she died:  "Asked her before she went under, are you alright? She says, mumbled something to me, and she went under.  She went under."

The Ohio River near the bridge was closed to boat traffic as a safety precaution.

Police say Kentucky Transportation officials were also on the scene to see if there was any structural damage to the bridge.

Mitchell says, "It's very dangerous for our workers, however we are trained and skilled in this area.  They are taking their time in doing it, again we have all different members evaluating different parts of this to make it secure and secure for the workers as well."

While Roberts says the woman was speeding, police say they're still trying to determine that and what caused her to crash.

Roberts said, "When she hit that curb and hit that pole going 65 miles per hour, she hit it hard."

One southbound lane is still closed as crews repair a broken railing.

Andrea Clifford with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says engineers who inspected the bridge have determined it is safe.  A temporary railing has been installed at the crash site, with a permanent railing to be installed later.

Copyright 2013 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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