Freelance producer Shauna Williams thought her story for NBC News about Durham’s infamous ‘Canopener Bridge” was already going really well by late Thursday afternoon.

And then it happened, for the 102nd time since April 2008, and the story got much, much better. The Canopener Bridge is hungry, and it must eat.

Just before the 5 p.m. traffic rush past Brightleaf Square, a Forward Air Solutions truck with Ohio plates had its top peeled off like a sardine can by that hungry bridge. And Williams’ news team caught it all, just in time for the 6:30 broadcast of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”


Williams, who lives in this area, says she was inspired to cover the story after The Wall Street Journal’s front-page piece the day before about, a website devoted to the railroad overpass on Gregson Street that continues to wreak havoc on people who ignore signs and flashing lights.

The site is run by Duke systems analyst Jürgen Henn, who works nearby.

“We interviewed Jürgen, and not five, 10 minutes later, this happened,” said Williams. “We heard the noise, we saw it, and the driver got out of the truck and said, ‘But I thought I had more room!’”

Yes, that was captured on camera too. Afterward, the two gentlemen in the stuck truck stayed in the vehicle cab, windows up, and declined to be interviewed by The INDY, which one fellow indicated by waving his hand like a hatchet across his neck.

No matter, Canopener bridge fans: The segment, reported by correspondent Gabe Gutierrez was the closer for Thursday evening’s NBC News broadcast.

UPDATE: Here’s the video: