Woman who damaged historic Paoli bridge with semi truck sentence - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Woman who damaged historic Paoli bridge with semi truck sentenced to jail time

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PAOLI, Ind. (WDRB) – The woman found guilty of destroying an historic bridge in Paoli, Indiana, after driving her tractor-trailer onto it in 2015 was given the maximum sentence Wednesday.

Orange County Superior Court Judge R. Michael Cloud sentence Mary Lambright to 180 days in jail. He will allow her to earn credit for each day served, so she could be released after 90 days. The judge ordered she return to jail at 8 a.m. April 19 to begin her sentence.

Lambright pleaded guilty in March 2017 to the misdemeanor charge of recklessly operating a tractor-trailer. She also admitted to three infractions, which included disregarding traffic signs or warning. Lambright drove a semi over Lick Creek on Christmas Day 2015, the weight of the truck causing the bridge to collapse.

In court Wednesday, Lambright told the judge she was very sorry and that it was “a terrible mistake.” She said she never intended to cause that damage. Lambright also said she wanted to apologize to everyone in Orange County.

Her attorney asked the judge to allow her to serve any sentence out on probation. He explained she works 24 hours a week for $9 an hour, and she wants to continue working so she can help pay back as much as she can. Lambright’s attorney said she brought $300 with her, all the money she had, to show the court she wanted to start paying her restitution.

An insurance settlement will pay the nearly $750,000 needed to rebuild the bridge. But Orange County will be responsible to pay around $2,000 for a re-inspection fee. Judge Cloud ordered Lambright to pay the county for that re-inspection fee, but she is not required to pay any money toward the bridge’s repairs.

Judge Cloud said he considered other options, like home incarceration and community service. But he said it would only “depreciate the seriousness of the crime.”

The judge also revoked Lambright’s license for 180 days. Cloud said the act she committed was “so reckless” that he couldn’t “in good conscious” let her operate a vehicle.

Judge Cloud also required Lambright to pay $183 in court fees.

Related Stories:

Truck wedges itself in Paoli bridge, causing it to collapse

Driver who caused Paoli bridge collapse loses job, publicly apologizes

Crews to begin repairing historic bridge in Paoli

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