Low Clearance: Fruit and Vegetable Truck Shredded by Overpass on Rock Creek Parkway

A trailer ended up shredded after its lost driver misjudged the height of an overpass on Rock Creek Parkway in D.C. on Friday, snarling morning traffic for drivers -- and leading to dozens of crates of food getting unloaded on the side of the road.

The driver, Benjamin Castillo, left from Virginia last night, en route to the University of Maryland to deliver papaya, limes and onions.

Around 6 a.m. Friday, he misjudged the height of the Whitehurst Freeway bridge over Rock Creek Parkway. His tractor-trailer is more than 13 feet high -- but the overpass is just 11 feet at the section Castillo attempted to pass through.

The impossible squeeze caused the 54-foot-long trailer's floor to buckle and shredded its top.

Rock Creek Parkway usually has four southbound lanes in the morning -- but Friday, traffic got by in just two of them. Officials say all lanes will be open for the evening rush.


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Potomac Freeway to the Whitehurst was still closed at midday Friday; northbound Rock Creek Parkway from K Street is open.

At the scene, crews were using a forklift to unload the fruits and vegetables alongside the trailer. It's proven to be a difficult task due to the crumpled floor, with some items wedged in among debris.

The D.C. Department of Transportation determined the integrity of the bridge wasn't compromised.

Inspectors were also on site to interview Castillo about what happened. He said he's been driving 20 years, but wasn't familiar with the area and ended getting up lost.

Commercial trucks aren't allowed on Rock Creek Parkway.

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