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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Update - Close call on the bridge...

I finally talked to my sister and got a first hand account of their experience last night. As I mentioned before, they were driving to the Twins game and got to the bridge just as the collapse was happening. She said there was bumper to bumper traffic as they started onto the bridge when the section that they were on broke and tilted down, towards the river, at a fairly steep angle. The vehicle they were in started rolling towards the edge, but stopped about 20 feet short. She doesn't know how many vehicles went over, but thought it was many. There's was the last vehicle on that section that didn't go over. When the SUV stopped moving my brother-in-law yelled for them to hop out, which they did.

They climbed over a wall and jumped a three foot gap to the north bound side since they were concerned the section they were on would fall further. At first, they didn't immediately grasp the extent of the bridge failure because the section of bridge in front of them broke the other way, with the front facing up, which obstructed their view of the rest of the bridge. Once they realized that the entire bridge was down they realized that their situation wasn't serious enough to get attention any time soon, so they walked to Jimmy John's (sandwich place) in Dinky Town, next to the University of Minnesota campus. There they had a drink and tried to settle down. The cell phone circuits were overloaded by this time so they used the land line at Jimmy John's to call their daughter to come and pick them up.

My sister said that she will email me some pictures that shows their car, and when I get them I might post them.

Both are off of work today and the emotional impact is just being felt. Yesterday was fueled by adrenaline and today you get to ponder what might have happened but didn't and try to explain what is unexplainable. Our story has a happy ending. Unfortunately there are many that did not.

This isn't a great picture but I think this picture shows their SUV which is on the section of bridge tilting downward. I will try to verify this. I had seen a picture from much closer but it was in Adobe and I didn't know how to save it.

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