After an opening statement by Lieutenant Jaime Salinas of the Coast Guard – the lead investigator of the incident since Jan. 27 – the first witness was Thomas Hines, traffic engineer supervisor for District One of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Much of the first day of the hearing was dedicated to questions about problems with the bridge’s navigational lights. Attorneys for the Coast Guard and NTSB asked Hines about maintenance and lighting on the bridge, with Salinas asking Hines about the lighting plan on the bridge.
After questions by the Coast Guard, Hines said there wasn’t much detail to the lighting plan, that it is a series of reds and greens. Coast Guard officials said the bridge should have shown a series of three white lights in a vertical line over the main channel.
Liam LaRue with the NTSB asked Hines about a letter he received in December that shows the proper lighting plan.
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