Historic Woodstock covered bridge damaged by motorist

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 4:42 PM EDT
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A historic covered bridge in Woodstock is off limits to traffic after being damaged by a motorist.

Police say Gavin Ratliff, 23, of Sharon, was pulling landscaping equipment Wednesday afternoon when he hit the Lincoln Bridge.

The span over the Ottauquechee River was built in 1877.

Several of the bridge's center trusses had noticeable damage.

Police say it was Ratliff who called 911 after he realized his mistake.

"Recognizing the damage, he continued forward rather than backing up. He stated that he thought the damage may have resulted in him collapsing the bridge if he backed off," Woodstock Police Sgt. Joseph Swanson said.

Structural engineers are being called in to determine the extent of the damages.

Police say the bridge could be closed for several months.

Ratliff is getting a ticket for being over the bridge's height limit.