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Through someone’s dashcam being turned in to the police, we have the instant a Jeep Wrangler became a convertible. No, it wasn’t on purpose, but yes, the top was sheared off in a flash of sparks. This happened earlier this month when a car hauler passed through an Ann Arbor, Michigan bridge too low for its load, which in this case was said Wrangler.

Was anyone injured?

bridge strike
Ann Arbor bridge strike | AAFD/Facebook

The Ann Arbor Fire Department was notified of a bridge that collapsed on December 15. But coming onto the scene it saw the top of the Wrangler that was sheared off laying on the highway. Unfortunately, the driver of the hauler thought it better to take off before anyone else showed up. Can we get a big “bah humbug” for the driver? Also, note that the clearance height is clearly visible at 14 feet, two inches.

Once the bridge was inspected for structural damage and found to be OK, it only left determining how this happened and who did it. But a motorist driving behind the hauler caught it all on their dashcam. Once turned in to the Ann Arbor Fire Department, it was posted on their Facebook page

What aids are there for avoiding a low bridge?

bridge strike
Ann Arbor bridge strike | AAFD/Facebook

Both the hauler’s driver and the motorist behind it stopped after the incident. So it is assumed insurance info was exchanged. Maybe the hauler wasn’t such a deadbeat, but that information has not been shared. 

This brings up one of the advantages of some of the new driver’s aid features available on many new trucks. Many devices including Ford’s Ford Pass app help you avoid low clearance overpasses. RV Trip Planning tools also do a similar service, as does the SmartTruckRoute app. Most professional truck drivers use either the Garmin or Rand McNally GPS for mapping truck routes. 

You can also check out to help identify low overpasses along your route. And finally, pay attention to clearance signs posted on each bridge. You know, they’re those yellow diamond signs with the height dimension maximums for entering under said bridges and overpasses. 

Are there other bridge hazard signs?

bridge sign
Low bridge clearance sign | CHD

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And just as there are height limitations, there are also narrow bridge warning signs. They appear when a bridge is narrower than the road you’re driving on. Especially for duallys and car haulers, entering a bridge that’s too narrow can be just as devastating as the one that’s too low. These are all valuable aids for helping drivers steer clear of potential accidents like this. 

At least for this car accident, the fire department had a sense of humor. It posted that “a dealership is getting a convertible tomorrow they didn’t order.” However, it also posted a more somber comment, saying that the dashcam footage “further confirms the fortune of this incident not causing a fatality or serious injury.”