A woman is praising God after a last-second red light allowed her to narrowly miss being crushed by the collapse of a Florida pedestrian bridge. Six people lost their lives last week when the 950-ton bridge fell on unsuspecting motorists outside Florida International University. For survivor Susan Bermudez, a couple of crucial seconds made the difference between life and death.
“I was the first car. If the light would have changed I was three seconds away from being under the bridge,” she told NBC News. “I’m very grateful to be alive. Thank God.”
Giovanni Hernandez, who drove under the bridge just minutes before it collapsed, was also grateful to have emerged unscathed.
“It was right behind us, and you know, it could have been us under that bridge,” he told NBC.
But Bermudez and Hernandez are well aware that others were not so fortunate. More than 100 firefighters tended to the horrific scene, spending days sifting through the debris and massive pieces of concrete with the help of canines and cranes.
Onlookers were staggered by just how rapidly the entire concrete structure came down.
“I watched it come down in a second,” 27-year-old Steven Ippoliti, who works at the University, told NBC. “It didn’t even take seconds. It was there and then it was just down. It kind of just left you in awe – like did that really just happen?”
The shocking incident was caught on one motorist’s dash cam. Footage shows the speed at which the entire bridge came crashing down on top of motorists.
After the immediate shock of such a horrifying spectacle, fellow motorists can be seen jumping out of their vehicles and running toward to the rubble to help. One of them was Ms. Bermudez.
“I ran because I knew that these were someone’s children or uncles or parents, and I just wanted to help,” she said, as reported by WSVN-TV. “It was very devastating.”
Bermudez began frantically searching the rubble for survivors. She came across a woman in a red Sedan — she was in shock, and was experiencing terrible pain in her neck.
“On the opposite side of the bridge, I saw that there were other survivors, but on my side [she] was the only one,” Bermudez explained. “I remember telling her, I said, ‘Baby girl, God has a purpose for you.’”
The accident has come as a stark reminder that life is incredibly fragile, Bermudez explained. “I got to hug my kids again last night and give them a big kiss,” she said. “Always, always tell your loved ones, before you leave, ‘I love you.’”
Stories of heroism continue to emerge from the accident, including that of an off-duty police officer who spent 15 minutes trying to revive one of the victims. As Faithwire previously reported, Sgt. Dave Gland was one of the first responders who arrived to the scene within seconds of the collapse of the bridge, which stretched above Miami’s Southwest 8th Avenue.
After seeing the accident from the business he owns across the street, Gland spent 15 minutes working to keep an injured victim alive, Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez said in a press conference Thursday.
The university called the state-of-the-art bridge as a “one-of-its-kind pedestrian bridge” that “swings” into place,” according to Fox News. Officials are still unsure as to why the bridge collapsed.
(H/T: CBN News)