A truck carrying an oversized load in northwest Las Vegas on Friday struck a steel beam near a bridge construction site, sending the beam crashing onto a following vehicle and killing its driver, according to the Nevada Dept. of Transportation. 

The 7:09 a.m. accident took place on southbound U.S. Highway 95 when the top of the truck allegedly clipped the I-beam, which was set up to provide a final warning to motorists of the 15-ft. height restriction at the under-construction bridge.

“That beam structure was damaged; it came down and hit another vehicle, killing the driver,” says NDOT spokesman Justin Hopkins.

He said there were warning signs approaching the beam and truckers are made aware of construction hazards when getting permits for oversized loads. Hopkins says it’s not clear if the truck involved, which was not associated with the highway project, had proper paperwork or was preceded by a pilot car.

“Everything is under investigation. and it’s too early to say exactly what happened,” Hopkins says.

The Nevada State Police are investigating the accident, and the names of the drivers have not been released, but the victim was a Las Vegas police officer. Hopkins says southbound 95, a major approach to Las Vegas, would be closed for much of Friday as police investigate and crews shore up the site.

The truck was identified as a tractor-trailer carrying a piece of construction equipment, but it was not part of the bridge project.

The $155 million bridge, scheduled for completion in early 2024, is the final phase of the Centennial Bowl project that began in 2015 to build an interchange where U.S. 95 connects with the Clark County 215 Beltway.