Claim: Photographs show a hoe excavator that crashed into a highway overpass.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, 2006]
A hoe weighing 8 tons is on top of a flatbed trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, reinforced with 1 1/2 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing.
Solve: When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half? (Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver.)
Extra Credit: Solve for the time and distance required for the entire rig to come to a complete stop after hitting the overpass at the speed calculated above.
photographs displayed above capture the aftermath of an accident that occurred on the evening of 13 February 2006 on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The driver of a semi-tractor trailer that was hauling a track hoe excavator on a flatbed misestimated the clearance at an overpass, and the boom of the hoe collided with the overpass and knocked a 45-foot gap through the deck of the bridge. The accident forced an 11-day closure of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70. (The bridge itself remained closed even after the highway reopened.)
The driver of the rig was uninjured, although he was later cited for not having clearance to drive on the interstate. The Kansas Department of Transportation said the construction company for which the driver worked would be liable for the cost of repairs to the overpass, which were estimated at $134,000 as of late March 2006.
An Associated Press photo captured the scene the night of the accident:
Last updated: 9 June 2006
Associated Press. "Accident Near Hays Closes Interstate."
Lawrence Journal-World. 15 February 2006.
Associated Press. "KDOT Engineer Says Bill for Damaged Bridge Will Go to Driver's Company."
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.