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Trucker sentenced in covered-bridge crash

AUBURN – A truck driver from Illinois has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for badly damaging a 140-year-old wooden covered bridge in DeKalb County by driving a too-tall tractor-trailer rig through it.

A DeKalb County judge ordered the sentence Thursday for Gerard Hudson, 47. of Waukegan, Ill. He pleaded guilty last week to a felony charge of criminal mischief.

The Star of Auburn reported ( Hudson told the judge he was sorry about the damage and that he was fatigued. Police said Hudson told officers that his rig’s GPS device had directed him to cross Spencerville Covered Bridge, about 20 miles north of Fort Wayne.

The one-lane bridge was closed after the rig tore down several 6-by-6-inch crossbeams and roof trusses. County officials expect repairs to cost more than $100,000.