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A driver who was towing an excavator that hit multiple cross members of the Ellsworth Street bridge was cited by the Albany Police Department on Wednesday night.

Renea Venus Shalduha, 58, of Prineville, was cited for failure to perform the duties of a driver (property damage), said Lt. Steve Dorn.

Shalduha was driving for Western Heavy Haul, a Prineville business. She told authorities that she didn’t realize that the excavators hit the bridge archways and continued driving.

The incident was reported at 5:20 p.m., and traffic was snarled past North Albany Road as Oregon Department of Transportation workers inspected the bridge.

The excavator knocked down at least one light on the span and left another light dangling, Dorn said.

An ODOT spokeswoman said that an initial inspection on Wednesday night revealed there was likely only minor damage to the structure. 

However, bridge inspectors will be back on the Ellsworth Street span on Monday to check things out more thoroughly, the ODOT spokeswoman said.

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Kyle Odegard

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