State Suspends Subcontractor Involved in Back-to-Back Bridge Incidents

The state Department of Transportation has suspended a subcontractor whose crews and equipment were involved in back-to-back incidents on bridges in Groton and West Hartford, the latter of which proved fatal.

Officials with the DOT said McClain & Co., a subcontrator hired by a consultant performing routine bridge inspections, was involved in both accidents, which occurred Tuesday and Wednesday.

No one was hurt Tuesday when crews inspecting the Gold Star Bridge on Interstate 95 in Groton became trapped in the bucket of a snooper truck, which has a retractable arm that hangs down below the bridge. Firefighters pulled the workers to safety in a rescue effort that tied up traffic for hours.

DOT officials an equipment malfunction was to blame.

Wednesday's incident ended differently. A spokesperson for the DOT said an operator from McClain & Co. was retracting the truck's arm when he became wedged between the truck and the bridge railing on the exit 43 ramp to Interstate 84 east in West Hartford.

The truck tipped and crushed the truck operator, who was killed, according to the DOT.

DOT officials said McClain & Co. provided the truck or trucks involved in both incidents. It's not clear if the same equipment was used.

The state is suspending all services with McClain & Co. and will not allow consultants to use the compay either as a safety precaution. State police are investigating.

A man who answered the phone at McClain & Co. headquarters in Virginia on Wednesday evening said the company has no comment.

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