Jacksonville, FL - It’s a scene that’s too familiar.
“We are thankful that the vehicle did come to a stop before it went over,” says Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Dylan Bryan.
A crash this evening on the Buckman Bridge caused a car to overturn and land on top of the concrete barrier wall. This comes just about two months after a car flipped over the side of the bridge entirely and the driver died.
FHP was called to the Buckman southbound around 6PM. Bryan says their preliminary investigation shows Tammy Jennings was driving in the left lane, approaching a road ranger which was helping a disabled vehicle. Jennings changed lanes in an effort to obey Florida’s “Move Over” law, but the lane next to her was occupied.
“She made the improper lane change which resulted in the crash with another vehicle,” Bryan says.
The driver of the car which was side swiped suffered minor injuries. The car which was changing lanes wound up overturning and landing on the concrete barrier wall. Jennings was wearing her seatbelt and was not hurt.
In July, a car was involved in a crash which then pushed it over the side of the Buckman. That drew a lot of questions to the Florida Department of Transportation on whether the height of the concrete barriers is enough. While they do meet existing codes and regulations, FDOT says a review started and is still ongoing.
I circled back with FDOT after learning about this crash to see whether this again puts a new push behind the call for action.
FDOT Spokesman Ron Tittle says they have yet to receive this crash report, but it will likely be factored in to their ongoing discussions. Because a potential redesign of this magnitude involves a range of factors, including public input, traffic studies, incident reports and more, he says any decision on change is still months away.
Bryan says it is concerning to see another car have a dangerous run-in with the barrier walls, but in this case, the wall did its job.
“It retained the vehicle on the roadway,” Bryan says.
And as for the “Move Over” law, Bryan says drivers need to study up. When approaching an emergency vehicle you must safely leave an empty lane between yourself and the responder. If, however, that cannot be done- for example if traffic prohibits a lane change- then you must reduce your speed instead.