A Texas truck driver who police said hit and damaged a Brandon covered bridge in January failed to appear in court on March 4.
Charleston M. Antwine, 25, of Wake Village, Texas, was scheduled to be arraigned March 4 in Rutland criminal court on a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a crash that caused property damage. Antwine did not appear, according to court records.
Antwine will be sent a judicial summons to come to court March 18 instead.
The charge against Antwine was based on an affidavit written by Chief Christopher Brickell, of the Brandon Police Department.
Brickell said he was notified around 1 p.m. Jan. 8 by David Atherton, Brandon’s town manager, about a crash at the Sanderson Covered Bridge on Pearl Street.
Atherton said a tractor-trailer truck had hit the bridge and then left the area.
“Sanderson Bridge has been the site of multiple truck mishaps where operators of tractor-trailer units will use personal GPS devices to find roadways into Brandon and end up on Pearl Street, the location of Sanderson Bridge. The bridge is posted on either end with a warning sign indicating ‘low bridge’ and height limitations,” Brickell wrote in the affidavit.
Brickell said he was driving to the scene when he heard from Brandon Public Works Director Daryl Burlett that Burlett had a photo of the truck. Brickell said police dispatchers also told him that the truck was traveling north toward Grove Street.
Brickell said he found the truck at a warehouse that gets many deliveries. He said he compared the truck he saw to the photo sent to him by Burlett.
Brickell said he saw the driver, later identified as Antwine, getting out of the truck and questioned him.
“He stated, ‘I’m going to be honest with you, sir, it was a wood bridge and I knocked into the wood part,’” Brickell wrote in the affidavit.
Photos were taken of the truck Antwine was driving, the affidavit said. Brickell said the damage to the truck included a hole in the upper corner of the trailer.
“When I asked why he did not call the police, his response was, he got out of his truck and tried to talk to a woman but she ran back inside her house. He advised he didn’t want to go on her property and have her shoot,” Brickell wrote.
The damage to the bridge was several upper boards and an interior structural beam being broken. Burlett said the damage would take more than $1,000 to repair.
The officer of Rutland County State’s Attorney Rose Kennedy filed an offer in the case which would have called for a $300 fine and restitution for any uninsured damage.
On Tuesday, Kennedy said she hadn’t decided if the offer would still be made if Antwine appears on March 18.
If convicted of the charge against him, Antwine could be sentenced to up to two years in jail.