Little Rock – Arkansas State Police have released that Congressman Tim Griffin (2nd – Arkansas) was the driver of a tug boat that crashed into the Interstate 30 river bridge in downtown Little Rock earlier this evening.The crash temporarily shut down I-30 right before afternoon rush hour, causing major traffic congestion across the city.
The congressman returned to Little Rock this morning to assist the Army Corps of Engineers with a worker shortage caused by the recent government shutdown. The Corps began using borrowed tug boats this afternoon to check river conditions after they lacked the funds to refuel their normal river inspection boats.
“I figure I have done a great job the past year representing the people of Arkansas,” Griffin said in an interview shortly before he crashed the boat. “I feel I can do equally as good of a job helping out when central Arkansas needs me.”
The bridge was able to reopen after a short time after Arkansas Corps Commander Colonel Courtney Paul was in a nearby boat and available for inspection. Paul declared the bridge structurally sound and promised to pay for repairs to the totaled tug boat as soon as government funding is released again.
“I want to apologize to the citizens and commuters of central Arkansas for the headache that shutting down this bridge caused,” Paul said in a brief statement. “I knew I should have declined Griffin’s request to assist. He drives a boat about as well as he represents our state.”
Griffin was taken to UAMS and treated with minor head injuries. Following treatment Griffin, who falls under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act, received an evaluation from the Obamacare death panel. The results of the death panel evaluation is expected to be released tomorrow.