Monday, August 06, 2007

Bob C. Tells his I 35W Story

A friend, Bob, sent us this story of his experience on the I 35W Bridge:
Collapsed Bridge

"Hello family and friends,

I just wanted to email all of you on the particulars of my involvement with the disaster that happened on Wednesday, August 1, 2007.

I was on the 35 W bridge when it collapsed. I came out of it okay; no scratches or bruises. Car is still on bridge, however.(see attached photo - vehicle #C25)

Below is a narrative of my events on that difficult day:

I was coming home from a meeting in Northeast Minneapolis and going south on 35W. The traffic was heavy and only going about 15-20 mph. I was talking to Lisa on my cell phone. As I went on the 35 W bridge and saw a semi truck trailer "hopping" up and down wildly to my left in the construction lanes of the highway. As I looked back straight ahead I saw that the car in front of me was braking, and then I saw the whole bridge deck in front of be drop below my eye sight. Then the road deck started to slant towards the river. I immediately put my foot on the brake and push it very hard. I told Lisa that something really bad had happened and that the bridge was gone and I had to go! Thoughts of Hollywood movies came to mind and I thought that maybe my car would slide into the next car and push it over the edge. I search fanatically for my emergency brake. At that time, I notice the drivers in the cars in front of me had vacated their cars and had ran back up the bridge past me. I wondered about gathering my tip-over briefcase then decided it would be best if I got out of this car now. I ran up the slanted roadway to the apex and saw that the bridge behind me was gone as well. There were about four other motorists with me and about five road construction workers standing and watching in amazement of the horrific event that had just happened before our eyes.

At this time, everything was very quiet with the exception of one construction worker who was distraught over seeing that a co-worker had just slipped over the edge of the bridge roadway. (I believe he was the one fatality of the construction workers). At this time, one of the construction worker yelled that this "island" of bridge deck is probable not safe and we need to get out of here. He signaled us over to an area of the highway where it was possible for us to crawl from the southbound lanes to the northbound lanes. This was a little scary since the gap between the roadways was three feet wide and the crevice went down some forty feet. I was the last person to go over and was pulled by one of the construction workers.

Once I was on the northbound lanes I felt a lot safer, however, I still wanted to get on solid ground, not the bridge! I ran down the roadway towards University Avenue, while trying to get a hold of Lisa on the cell phone to tell her I was safe. We finally connected a few minute later.

This was a little difficult event for me but I am really doing a lot better now. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the individuals that lost their lives or have not been recovery yet. Say a prayer for these people.

That's my story. I will be around this world a little longer and am very happy to be here.

With Love,



Blogger Steve Cuddihy said...

Thanks for sharing, glad to hear you made it out alive and able to tell your story.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

amazing stories we are hearing from tragic events all over.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
I am a reporter for the Star Tribune and I would love to ask you a little bit about your experience on the bridge. We are trying to reach as many survivors as we can. Would you be up for contacting me? I'm at or 612-673-7102.
I hope we can talk soon. Thanks for sharing your story on the blog.

3:14 PM  

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