Father, daughter killed in 2021 after going over same intersection
A Jacksonville man, Keith Dowling, narrowly escaped tragedy when his pickup truck went off an overpass onto Interstate 95 on Sunday morning. The incident occurred at the Clark Road overpass just north of Zoo Parkway on Jacksonville’s Northside. Dowling, 29, returned to the scene the next day to retrieve his belongings, including his cell phone, expressing gratitude for the individuals who helped him escape his truck after it plummeted over 20 feet onto the highway below. A dash camera captured the crash, revealing the severity of the incident.
Dowling recounted losing control of his Ford F-250 work pickup truck, which skidded on the guardrail for a few dozen feet after the tires went over the sidewalk. Despite attempts to regain control, the truck went over the side, carrying parts of the guardrail and concrete with it. Fortunately, Dowling missed the traffic below but found himself trapped inside the overturned truck. A photo from a viewer showed bystanders rushing to his aid, reflecting on the harrowing experience, Dowling said, “It’s just amazing I did not end up in the ICU or dead.”
Concerns arise regarding the safety of the Clark Road overpass, where a tragic incident occurred in October 2021, claiming the lives of Sean Tumlin and his 3-year-old daughter, Grace. Dowling’s accident raises questions about the roadway, especially given the similarities with the previous fatal incident. A Federal Highway Administration report indicates that the bridge, built in 1960, is considered to be in overall “good” condition. However, it notes issues with the railings not meeting current standards and describes the underclear as “basically intolerable.”
Clark Road, maintained by the city of Jacksonville, has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. The National Bridge Inventory report raises concerns about the railings not meeting accepted standards. Dowling, fortunate to escape with a broken nose, cuts, and bruises, questions the cause of the accident despite recent brake maintenance and denies distractions, speeding, or impairment.
As investigations into the crash continue, Dowling remains thankful for his survival and expresses a desire to meet the individuals who aided him. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation, and inquiries about the bridge’s safety after the 2021 incident have been directed to the city’s communications team. The Florida Department of Transportation, while acknowledging that the overpass is maintained by the city, offers assistance if requested.