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Teen Driver Goes off Bridge; Plunges into Flint River

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A student on the way to Buckhorn High School went off a bridge and into the Flint River Thursday morning.

According to authorities on scene, the female student said she swerved to miss another vehicle while traveling on Oscar Patterson Road.  Her truck hit the guard rail, went up over the railing, and nose down into an embankment.  The truck then flipped and ended up in the river.  The drop is an estimated 20 feet.

The teen was wearing her seat belt.  She was rescued and taken to Huntsville Hospital with injuries, but is expected to be okay.

The accident prompted WHNT News 19 to ask Madison County district one commissioner Roger Jones if metal guard rails on narrow bridges are good enough. The simple answer he says — no.

Madison County has recently be awarded millions in state funding for two large road improvement projects and Jones says while he is more than thankful for the work of our governor and local legislative delegation, the bridges that remain unfunded will almost certainly have to stay as is for now.

“There’s no way we can do it,” says Jones.  “There’s just not enough money there.  There’s barely enough money to keep the roads maintained and there’s no money for improvements. The counties could not do it without help.”

Commissioner Jones says the estimated cost for replacing guard rails on one small bridge alone would be well over a million dollars. Jones urges county drivers to pay attention and slow down on rural roads.