2 Campers Injured in Wash. Bridge Accident
Two of the motorists injured after the collapse of a bridge on Interstate 5 bridge collapse into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon, Wash., Thursday night (May 23) were on way to a camping trip.
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck when the bridge before them disappeared in a “big puff of dust,” he told The Associated Press.
“I hit the brakes and we went off,” Sligh told reporters from a hospital, adding he “saw the water approaching … you hold on as tight as you can.”
Sligh, his wife and another man in a different vehicle were dumped into the chilly waters of the Skagit River. They were injured, but miraculously, authorities said it appeared nobody was killed in the bridge failure that raised the question about the safety of aging spans and cut off the main route between Seattle and Canada.
“We don’t think anyone else went into the water,” said Marcus Deyerin, a spokesman for the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team. “At this point we’re optimistic.”
Sligh and his wife were taken to Skagit Valley Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.
Sligh said his shoulder was dislocated in the drop into the water, and he found himself “belly deep in water in the truck.” He said he popped his shoulder back in and called out to his wife, who he described as being in shock initially as they waited for rescuers to arrive in boats.
The collapse was caused by an oversize truck hitting the span, the Washington State Patrol chief said.
The truck made it off the bridge and the driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.