A construction worker, an FIU student, and four motorists were killed over the weekend in Miami when a 950 ton pedestrian bridge, which originally spanned 174 feet and was engineered to withstand hurricane-strength winds, collapsed onto the road below.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 15, 2018, the $11.4 million pedestrian bridge, which was still under construction and not scheduled to officially open until next year, crashed down upon the roadway underneath. The footbridge was erected over the dangerously-busy 7-lane Tamiami Trail, and was intended to connect Florida International University with the nearby city of Sweetwater, where over 4,000 students reside off-campus.
Almost immediately after the accident, Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue, urban search teams, first responders, and rescue dogs all teamed up with the Miami-Dade Police Department in a massive effort to begin sifting through the rubble on the street to find the injured. Multiple vehicles had been crushed when the walkway fell, creating almost impossible rescue conditions.
“I was three seconds away from being under the bridge, but I looked forward. All of a sudden I saw the bridge collapse, and it started from the left side of the bridge and it really shocked me,” said witness Susie Bermudez. “There’s probably like seven or eight cars under the bridge so it was very shocking to me, and I’m very grateful to be alive,” she recalls.
Multiple people were taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center, with varying degrees of injuries ranging from minor to critical. The death toll currently stands at six, however, authorities have since shifted their rescue efforts into recovery mode, and have stated that there could potentially be additional victims underneath the piles of concrete. “We could only see eight vehicles from the exterior of the bridge. We are creating holes just so that we can physically see if there are others,” stated Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Division Chief Paul Estopinan.
Here at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we would like to offer our deepest condolences to everyone involved in this truly tragic construction accident.
Miami pedestrian bridge collapses, killing at least six, officials say
At least 6 dead in bridge collapse at Florida International University
FIU bridge collapse: At least 4 killed after pedestrian bridge at Florida college collapses
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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