Bridge 32 reward grows

Reporter file photoBRIDGE 32: Information is being sought and reward funds are piling up to bring the individual who drove a CAT tractor and chisel plow through the Creek Road Bridge to justice. This individual, likely a local farmer or hired hand, drove the tractor through the structure on Nov. 10, 2016, rendering it unsafe.

Since a monetary reward for information on the destruction of Bridge 32 was announced nearly two weeks ago, public interest and funds have grown.

The fund started with $2,500 pitched in by two men who live near the bridge, Lloyd Hayden and Kevin Prather, but others are now stepping up to contribute. To facilitate fundraising, a donation account has been formed at Home National Bank to receive funds from the public that can grow the reward. The fund is now around $4,000.

For those wishing to contribute to the reward, a donation may be made at either Home National Bank in Boone County: 2510 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon, or 117 E. Main St., Thorntown.

Bridge 32, which carries Creek Road over Sugar Creek in rural Thorntown, was mangled to the point of closure on Nov. 10, 2016. Though the Boone County Sheriff’s Office has received tips and eyewitness accounts of a CAT tracker driving a chisel plow near the bridge that day, no one has yet given a description leading to a suspect.

A recent press release from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office recounted the investigation, noting that deputies investigated the matter on the day is was reported. A resident told BCSO that a CAT farm tractor towing a chisel plow had struck the bridge and caused damage to the structure. At that time, an investigation was started to find who had caused the extensive structural damage.

The Boone County Highway Department also came to the scene and determined that the damage was severe enough to close the bridge.

The release notes that not many years prior to the accident, the iron bridge had been refurbished to maintain its unique and historic look. The bridge is listed as a historical bridge under the Indiana Historical Bridge Inventory. Many area residents donated funding to the restoration effort due to their passion for the bridge.

The sheriff’s office and residents near the bridge are asking for help to remedy the hardship that the closing of the bridge has caused. The release further notes that the bridge is a beloved community landmark popular for yearbook photos, wedding invitations and family photos.

Anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office by calling 765-482-1412 or emailing to tips@co.boone.in.us.

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