National News

Driver Passed Under Bridge Moments Before Collapse: "I'm Blessed It Wasn't Us"

Posted March 15, 2018 9:08 p.m. EDT

— At least one person is dead and several others are hurt after the FIU-Sweetwater 'University City' bridge came crashing down.

"It's a very sad day in our city, a very sad day, " said witness Jose Meija.

A large section of the bridge was just put in place on Saturday.

"It was just unveiled on Saturday," said Meija. "Why was there traffic open on Calle Ocho? I don't understand that."

In an ironic twist, Mejia was nearby having coffee talking about the bridge when all of a sudden it came down.

"We hear a bang, and I look and I say 'no the bridge,'" he explained. "We all ran I have pictures before they even cornered it and you see all the cars stuck under that bridge and there was nothing we can do."

The main portion of the bridge weighs 950 tons.

It was built next to Southwest 8th Street using a technique that was meant to keep workers, commuters and pedestrians safe, as well as prevent traffic tie-ups.

Joseph Gonzalez was driving under the bridge minutes before this happened.

"As soon as I opened the door I heard an explosion," he said. "I didn't know what it was I told my mom, 'mom something happened.' I'm blessed it wasn't us but at the same time I feel hurt because that's family. It would've been us, I have two kids you understand me?"