A road sign collapsed onto the Queens side of the Whitestone Bridge after a truck crashed into it, injuring two people and snarling traffic for miles along the Whitestone Expressway Friday afternoon.
Police and witnesses said a truck with an attached crane, known as a boom truck, was traveling southbound on the bridge when it struck a traffic sign at approximately 1:30 p.m. causing it to collapse across all lanes of the highway.
“It was very loud. Very loud,” said witness Joan Reinle, who was in MacNeil Park overlooking the bridge. “At first I thought that a tractor trailer had an accident and was going over the side of the bridge it was so loud.”
The driver and the passenger of the truck were both taken to New York Hospital Queens in serious but stable condition, according to police. Police said no other motorists were injured in the accident.
The sign collapse closed all lanes of the Whitestone Bridge in both directions, bringing traffic to a standstill just hours before evening rush hour. On the northbound side of the bridge, police officers orchestrated a mass reverse of dozens of cars and trucks stuck behind the sign, redirecting them into residential College Point at 4th Avenue.
Police said the Department of Transportation hoped to have the sign cleared and the bridge reopened by the early evening. Police said the investigation was ongoing.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@
©2009 Community News Group
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