The driver of a big-rig that became stuck in a narrow lane at the Golden Gate Bridge's toll plaza Tuesday morning said traffic prevented him from getting to the wider lanes to his right, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The driver, Donald Dayler of Cambridge, Ontario, was hauling furniture from Sonoma County to San Francisco, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.
Dayler said that as he approached the toll plaza at the southern end of the bridge around 8:45 a.m., he tried to merge toward the two wide toll lanes to his right but was unable to because of traffic, Barclay said.
Instead, Dayler drove into a narrower lane and the truck hit a concrete curb and scraped against other parts of the toll plaza. The truck's front axle broke, and big-rig became lodged in the plaza, Barclay said.
Barclay said the driver should have slowed down and stayed to the right as he approached the toll plaza.
“The driver failed to stay in the right-hand lane as is advised by multiple signs across the bridge as well as large yellow signs directly above the No. 1 and No. 2 toll lanes at the toll plaza,” Barclay said.
The No. 2, 3, and 4 toll lanes were closed after the accident to make way for the investigation and the removal of the big-rig.
A heavy-duty tow truck straightened the trailer portion of the rig so it would fit through the toll plaza, and lifted the front cab of the truck to disconnect the broken axle, Barclay said.
The tow truck then pulled the big-rig south through the toll plaza lane.
Traffic in both directions was stopped as the tow truck hauling the big-rig made a U-turn and headed north through the plaza in a wide lane, Barclay said. A CHP patrol car then escorted the tow truck and big-rig across the bridge, Barclay said.
The CHP reopened traffic lanes at 11 a.m., but the Golden Gate Bridge District kept the No. 2 and No. 3 toll lanes closed to make repairs, Barclay said.
Bridge district spokeswoman Marry Currie said there was damage to some electronic toll equipment, but that the damage “is not a big deal.”
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