Father describes driving over Campbell County road as it collapsed under him and his kids

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

EVINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — The approach of a bridge in Campbell County collapsed Friday morning while a father and his kids were driving over it.

That bridge on Dearborn Road was one of about 30 roads in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Lynchburg district, which covers 10 counties, closed on Friday, Oct. 30, as a result of the storms caused by Hurricane Zeta on Thursday, Oct. 29.

“I feel fine,” said Greg Pribble. “A little shaken up.”

Pribble was driving down Dearborn Road with his son and daughter Friday morning.

“There was some debris on top of the bridge.”

VDOT crews at the scene said at one point Thursday, the bridge was completely underwater.

“As we drove across the bridge, we felt the bridge give way underneath of the vehicle, and we made it to the other side.”

VDOT crews on the scene explained how the approach collapsed after the storm. During the storm on Thursday, the water washed away several feet of rocks and dirt, which was supporting about five or six inches of pavement, leaving nothing to support the road.

According to Paula Jones, VDOT’s Lynchburg district communications manager, Pribble’s was the second car stuck on that bridge Friday morning. The first report of bridge damage came before dawn.

“It probably had dropped some and then settled,” said Jones, “and apparently the emergency responders handled that. The fire department was there.”

Pribble says the barricades were gone by the time he drove by.

“There was no indication there saying the bridge was closed or not. But it had been earlier that morning. My wife left for work, and there was a sign and stuff up saying that the bridge was closed.”

“Barricades had apparently been moved,” said Jones. “We don’t know by whom, and we don’t know when.”

Pribble warned other drivers, “If VDOT puts up barricades, leave them alone.”

Jones said VDOT hopes to have a patch in place for the bridge on Friday. A permanent fix will take more time, depending on the weather.

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