Body Recovered From I-95 Collapse Wreckage

June 13, 2023
The man was 53 years old, an established truck driver, and an Army veteran

A man found amongst the wreckage of the I-95 bridge collapse in Philadelphia has been identified by his family.

Nathaniel “Nate” Moody was 53 years old, a father of three, and an Army veteran who, according to his family, had driven the same route in and around the I-95 all the time.

His family also explained his spotless driving record and how he had been responsible for delivering gasoline to Wawa gas stations across the region.

Moody’s body was found as demolition crews prepared to dismantle part of the southbound lanes after a tanker blast caused a section of the heavily traveled highway to collapse. Pennsylvania authorities have not yet publicly identified the body.

When asked at a recent news conference whether the body was the driver of the tanker that caused the blast, Mike Carroll, Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary said, "I will defer to the medical examiner for comment on that."

Testimony from Moody’s family described the truck driver as an established truck driver and a family man.

“My cousin is a hardworking man. Family man," Alex Moody told NBC Philadelphia. “We’ve always been cool and tight. He’s very mild mannered. Calm guy. Really calm person. He gets along with everybody.”

The lanes crews were preparing to dismantle were ordered to be demolished after crews found that the support beams holding up the southbound lanes had been severely weakened by Sunday’s explosion.

"The engineering and the inspection of the southbound bridge indicated it's compromised as a result of the fire," Carroll said. "The I-beams are incapable of supporting the traffic, and so that structure has to be removed, and we'll be starting today."

The driver of the tanker is said to have been transporting a shipment of fuel to a local Wawa gas station and was exiting the ramp from I-95 North to Cottman Avenue underneath the highway when the explosion occurred.

Investigators have not yet disclosed whether the truck driver was killed by the blast itself or by the estimated 500 tons of concrete, steel and rubble that rained down after the explosion.

Officials say that before the accident the bridge was properly maintained.

"The bridge was just fine before the accident." said Carroll.

The bridge had been refurbished approximately seven years ago according to one of the nation’s leading civil engineers.

"This bridge was rated good by the Pennsylvania DOT, and it recently had a major rehabilitation in 2016," said Andrew Herrmann, a past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. "The likeliest cause for the collapse here is intense heat.”

Herrmann said that highway overpasses made of concrete and steel appear to be nonflammable but that they are "susceptible to high heat."

"The temperature from a fire of this type could reach 2,000 degrees," Herrmann said. "The steel girders carrying the bridge can lose 50% of its strength at 1,100 degrees. Similarly, concrete can lose 50% of its strength at 950 degrees. This loss of strength can cause sagging and collapse of the structure."

Herrmann added that the bridge met standards of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials and that its design is comparable to other highways around the country.

When asked about plans for rebuilding the section of highway, Carool said in a news conference that officials are “looking at all the options.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro warns that it will take months to repair the stretch of highway that is key in linking New York and Philadelphia and carries approximately 160,000 vehicles per day.

Carroll says contractors hired by the Transportation Department will work tirelessly "in an effort to try and speed up the solution.”

"We expect that demolition to be completed in four or five days." Carroll said.


Source: NBC News Philadelphia

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