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Police Charge Driver in Crash that Closed Roebling Suspension Bridge

Police have charged the man believed to have caused the crash that closed the Roebling Suspension Bridge - saying that he lied to them originally, giving a story about another man being behind the wheel at the time, and that that man fled from the scene.

Demarko D. Page, 24, of Cincinnati faces three misdemeanor charges: falsely reporting an incident, operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license, and failure of owner to maintain required insurance.

Late Tuesday night, March 20, a car crashed into part of the 150-year old span while crossing from Cincinnati to Covington. The damage was so severe that the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic immediately by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in a move that was supposed to last just a week. Days later, the bridge was also closed to pedestrians.

Then, the transportation cabinet announced that the bridge could be closed until June. The car damaged a steel structure that was added in the 1890s, thirty years after the bridge was originally constructed, to reinforce it.

A warrant has been issued for Page's arrest.

Police say that Page originally told officers that he was a passenger in the vehicle and that the driver fled on foot. Some reports indicated that the car was used as a "bootleg cab", and a possible suspect was identified in media reports.

Investigators concluded that Page was not truthful, and that he was in fact the driver that night.

Police said that Page's alleged false statement led to a week of unnecessary investigative work. Page, the warrant reads, lied to officers initially because he knew his license was revoked and that he would be arrested.

Neither Page nor the registered owner of the vehicle, who was not named in the media release from police, have auto insurance, police said.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: (Inset) Demarko Page/provided, Reobling Bridge/RCN file