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Police closed U.S. 395 in Bridgeport early on Tuesday morning, May 14, after a tractor-trailer burst into flames at the bridge over the East Walker River at the south entrance to Bridgeport, following an accident that killed the driver.
Caltrans re-opened the highway at 3:45 p.m.
Motorists southbound on U.S. 395 were detoured by the Nevada Department of Transportation at Holbrook Junction, directing traffic to Nevada S.R. 208 to Nevada S.R. 182, to California S.R. 182 and back to U.S.395 at the south edge of Bridgeport.
A Caltrans official said a bridge specialist cleared the bridge of major structural damage, and could not be opened until hazardous matter was cleared from the area and the review of the accident is completed.
According to the California Highway Patrol. the accident happened at 3:44 a.m. just north of the S.R. 182 intersection at the south end of town.
A tractor-trailer rig driven by an unidentified individual, was northbound on U.S. 395. For unknown reasons, the rig failed to negotiate the curve in the roadway, struck and traveled through a bridge railing, then landed on the embankment of the East Walker River, where it became fully engulfed in flames.
Called to the scene were Bridgeport Fire Department, the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department (for haz-mat), the Mono County Sheriff's Department and Caltrans.
Police closed the highway for investigation, as well as for removal of the tractor-trailer, and until Caltrans could determine if the bridge was safe for traffic.
The fire was still burning at 6:20 a.m., the CHP said.