Dump truck smashes into Highway 101 overpass

A heavily traveled highway overpass in Palo Alto was badly damaged Thursday night when the bed of a dump truck struck the northern edge of it, a Caltrans spokesman said Friday.

The crash of a 2017 Peterbilt was reported at 10:52 p.m. at the U.S. Highway 101 overpass at Embarcadero Road. The driver of the truck left the bed up after unloading it and the bed hit the north edge of the overpass.

UPDATE 7:24 p.m. All lanes of Highway 101 reopen at Embarcadero Road.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Stanford Hospital, CHP officials said.

No one else was involved in the crash.

California Highway Patrol officials first said the crash caused a 27-foot crack in the overpass, but the crack was actually about 45 feet and the damage was more serious than thought, Haus said.

Crews thought that all they would have to do is patch some concrete, but a steel girder in the overpass was badly damaged and will need to be replaced, according to Haus:

“It was actually punctured and bent.”

All the damage appears to have been done by the crash.

Two lanes of southbound Highway 101 and one lane of westbound Embarcadero Road were closed until a Caltrans crew finished an inspection this afternoon.

With the inspection complete, crews were able to open one lane of the freeway at 2:26 p.m. The other lane could reopen at 7 p.m.

The real danger to freeway traffic is falling debris, Haus said.

So, crews are going to put up a tarp to catch any debris and the lane of Embarcadero Road over the crack will remain closed indefinitely.

CHP officials said it does not appear drugs or alcohol played a part in the crash. The cause is under investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer Tim Yu at (650) 369-6261.