Crane collapses on bridge; 1 killed in Smithville

SMITHVILLE, Texas (AP) - Officials say a man fell 60 feet to his death over the Colorado River when a crane toppled while dismantling an old bridge.

Smithville police Lieutenant Lonny Richardson says the man, identified as 47-year-old James Michael Miles, from North Richland Hills, probably died instantly when he fell from the top of the old bridge and landed on construction equipment.

Officials say the falling crane became overloaded and smashed into a manlift basket with two men in it, knocking one into the ravine. The other man was injured and taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin. Neither his name nor his condition were available.

Richardson says both men were in their 40s and were from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Richardson says the crane operator wasn't injured.

Department of Transportation spokesman Marcus Cooper says work had been ongoing for months to remove the old bridge. What's remaining of it sits next to the bridge that replaced it.

Smithville is about 45 miles southeast of Austin.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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