Video: RV smashes into vehicle-killer underpass


This is the 158th crash on this low bridge since 2008, and the second last month. On Sept. 22, a fifth wheel trailer being towed by a pickup truck lost its air conditioner and other equipment as it passed below the legendary bridge. The driver apparently ignored the posted low clearance sign and the overhead warning light. The result is not pretty.

The driver didn’t even stop for the red light.

The bridge is in Durham, North Carolina, and is nicknamed the Can Opener.

And now that you have seen this crash, in the video below watch dozens more at the same location — trucks, RVs, etc.

Be sure you know the height of your RV and don’t even attempt to try to pass below any underpass or bridge or through any tunnels unless there is plenty of room to spare. And if you don’t know the height of your RV, get a tape measure out immediately and measure it, and don’t forget to include air conditioners and any other objects that extend the actual height of the rig.

If you travel in unfamiliar territory, we highly recommend you carry along the Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas, which lists all low bridges and tunnels on American highways. The 2021 edition is available here.


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11 days ago

At some point wouldn’t it be cost effective to raise the bridge?

How much must that city pay in repairs, traffic jams – imagine if a tanker hit it.

Leonard W Peterson
17 days ago

Using the Motor Carriers Road Atlas is good advice, however, be aware that if a route is prohibited to commercial vehicles that any low overpasses on the prohibited route ARE NOT LISTED.

Vanessa Simmons
18 days ago

He (being sexist here) RAN THE REDLIGHT! I learned in RV Boot Camp and RV Basic that you should always add 6″ to your height just in case they have not updated the signs since the last paving.

18 days ago

I can’t believe after so many accidents the city still has not correct this simple problem. This is not funny at all. 158 accidents in the last 12 years and, the athoritys haven’t fix anything. CLASSIC GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENCE !!!

Vanessa Simmons
17 days ago
Reply to  David

WHAT? Spend hundreds of thousands to adjust this bridge for a bunch of idiots! But one thing they could do is about a mile up the road put a hanging swinging sign that says if you hit this you need to exit this road. I have seen that at a few places but idiots still ignore it.

11 days ago

How much do the repairs cost? Other drivers could get hurt by these crashes.

I agree that drivers should be more cautious but a lot of those looked like rentals.

Not hard to see this happening to people who never drove a big vehicle before.

Last edited 11 days ago by MattO
Kevin Smith
16 days ago
Reply to  David

Ah David, it’s not hard to research but easier to shake your fist at the evil government isn’t it? The railroad owns the right of way and has steadfastly refused to raise the bridge for decades and major sewer pipes lie just below the surface of the street that would require millions of taxpayer dollars to relocate, if even possible. I doubt you’d congratulate any government effort that decided to spend the money required to remedy so perhaps you’ll have to accept that individuals are responsible for the damage.

11 days ago
Reply to  Kevin Smith

Why would raising the bridge require moving/relocating sewer lines?

5 days ago
Reply to  David

That looks like a railroad Tressel, yeah it would be a huge deal to raise it!

Tony Barthel (@tony)
18 days ago

How much stupid can you put in a single video? Runs the red light, ignores the height sign or doesn’t know the height of their rig, gets caught on video (two camera angles!).

Sometimes you meet people and wonder who ties their shoes for them in the morning.

Lou FInkle
19 days ago

In Ohio, I remember driving through a city during a week day. I followed the GPS and turned to the left. About ten car lengths in front I faced a 10′ 2″ maximum train underpass with my 12′ class A coach pulling pickup truck toad. I got them stopped a couple feet before hitting the bridge. It took police more than an hour to back up dozens of vehicles while I unhitched, backed a few hundred feet with each separate vehicles. IT HAPPENS!

Montgomery Bonner
19 days ago

Trust me when I say “some people are just too stupid to own RV (car, plane, boat, put appropriate mechanized device here), and will never learn because of that stupidity. We read about them in the news daily. It is not a matter of learning, it’s a matter of “life and it’s rules do not apply to me”.

Kaeleen Buckingham
19 days ago

The signs just before the bridge say 12′ 4″ – which is it? We would fit the 12′ 4″ but not the 11′ 8″!

Alice S
19 days ago

It’s now 12’4″. The bridge was raised 8″ a year ago to help prevent some of the crashes. I don’t know how much it’s helped. According to the video it’s still an issue.

19 days ago

Penske got a lot of free advertising – is there a rental location down the block or something. Reading English matters.

19 days ago

Glad we have our Garmin RV760. Plus, always watching out for low clearance signs.

Gary Broughton
19 days ago

Have watched videos of this underpass for years. Shows lots of people don’t read height sign. In Canada there marked in meters.
Know your height before you move if not on Federal Highways.

Donald N Wright
19 days ago

ohh, these are scary. “but for the grace of God, go I”.

Next Time stop for a red light
19 days ago

Don,t worry Marge I will beat the traffic Light!! No I won,t get a ticket for running the light