"It Seemed Like a Movie" Survivors Tell of Escapes After Bridge Collapse

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Minneapolis (AP) “Boom, boom, boom” is what Jamie Winegar heard, then she says she felt her car “just dropping, dropping, dropping.”

Winegar and her family were visiting Minneapolis from Houston when they found themselves stuck in rush-hour traffic as the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed.

Behind the wheel, Dennis Winegar fought to keep their rental car under control. He slammed on the brakes and saw things disappear, before the car pointed straight down. He estimates they fell about 50 feet but landed among other vehicles on the remains of the bridge.

Catherine Yankelevich ended up in the river. Scared and feeling like she was in a movie, Yankelevich says she managed to climb out and swim to shore uninjured.

Road crews were working on the bridge at the time. The contracting company says its workers described sliding into cars as they rode the bridge down to the water. One member of the 18-person team remains among the missing.

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