A Coast Guard hearing on the collapse of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake begins April 16 in Paducah. The hearing will set the stage for a comprehensive Coast Guard report. The fact finding hearing will last up to seven days and include testimony from parties in interest, which will likely include the Commonwealth and Foss Maritime, which owns and operates the ship that collided with the bridge. The ship’s pilot is another likely witness.
The pilots name hasn’t been released since the January collision, which collapsed a 322 foot span of the bridge.
Coast Guard staff attorney Lieutenant Sean Pribyl says an investigating officer will manage the hearing, but the questioning could be hampered if the witnesses exercise all their rights which include, "the right to be represented by council, to introduce evidence, to cross examine witnesses and call witnesses on their own behalf,” said Pribyl.
Foss Maritime has already asked the federal court to rid the company of responsibility for the crash because of alleged faulty navigation lights. The state maintains the lights were operating.