Police believe speed and alcohol were involved in a fatal collision Wednesday morning on the Low Level Bridge, where the force of the car’s impact caused metal to bend on the narrow, 118-year-old structure.
The 19-year-old man driving the car was killed. Two passengers – a 20-year-old man and another man who police were still trying to identify late Wednesday morning – were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The crash happened at around 2:30 a.m. Police said a Chevrolet Malibu was heading north towards the bridge in Edmonton’s river valley when the driver lost control and struck a cement barrier just before the bridge.
The car then hit the metal beams on the bridge, rolled and landed on its roof, police said. The car came to a stop in the middle of the Low Level Bridge.
Investigators could be seen inspecting the impact sites all morning, and pieces of the vehicle could be seen strewn along the bridge deck.
“Because of the speed of the impact and debris field, for lack of a better term – it was spread out over a better part of both the northbound and southbound bridges – so in order to properly do the investigation, they need to have as clean of a roadway as possible and without distractions and vehicle traffic going by,” Acting Insp. Sean Anderson with the Edmonton Police Service said.
City technicians and engineers were on scene Wednesday morning to inspect the bridge.
Gord Cebryk, deputy city manager of city operations with the City of Edmonton, said a minor support on the bridge abutment was damaged and will need to be repaired. He said the work will be minor.
The bridge is safe for vehicles to drive over, Cebryk said.
“They have done the initial visual inspection and the next phase may involve some other forms of testing, whether that’s X-ray or some other type of inspection, that will be evident once we look at what’s required,” he said.
“It may be a situation of just simply replacing that structural member with very limited inspection or we might want to get a little more detailed.”
Watch below: Edmonton police believe speed and alcohol were factors in a rollover on the Low Level Bridge early Wednesday morning that left a 19-year-old dead and two other men injured. Kent Morrison has more from the scene.
Cebryk said one or two lanes of the bridge will likely need to be closed when the work is done. It’s not known exactly when the repairs will be done, but Cebryk said the closure will be done during non-peak traffic times.
The bridge was shut down for about 10 hours in both directions to all traffic, including pedestrians and cyclists, while the major collision section investigated. It reopened shortly after noon.