Coast Guard: Operator drunk when bridge hit ship

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A U.S. Coast Guard official says the operator of a Detroit drawbridge was drunk when she lowered the bridge onto the top of a passing 690-foot Great Lakes freighter.

Lt. Justin Westmiller tells The Detroit News the operator was tested at the scene of Sunday's accident and found to have a blood alcohol level above Michigan's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The freighter Herbert C. Jackson was hauling 23,000 tons of iron pellets up the Rouge River to Dearborn's Severstal North America plant. The Interlakes Steamship Co. owns the ship.

The impact heavily damaged the bridge, but no people were hurt. Westmiller says the ship was repaired and allowed to resume its travel.

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