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Author Topic: Mothman  (Read 2574 times)
Christian Kielbasa
Superhero Member
Posts: 1197

« Reply #75 on: June 06, 2009, 12:24:01 am »

Many people were out buying Christmas trees, enjoying the holiday season, unaware of the disaster, until they heard the sound. Some individuals said, 'the sound of the collapse was like that of a shotgun." For those who saw the bridge collapse, they said, "it looked like the bridge fell like a card deck."(11) Whatever the case, when the structure fell, horror captivated the area and lives were changed forever.

Many heroic eyewitnesses tried to help the victims who fell in the water. Rescue crews were on the disaster scene within minutes and were able to save some of the people from drowning in the Ohio River. Witnesses indicated that many of the vehicles were floating downstream while passengers would beat on their windows trying to escape. One eyewitness described seeing a truck driver standing on the top of his truck cob yelling for help as his vehicle slowly floated downstream in the cold water. William Needham, a truck driver f rom Kernersville, North Carolina, barely escaped death. He was in the cab of his truck driving across the bridge, when the collapse occurred. He managed to survive, but his partner in the truck cab never escaped the water of the Ohio River. His partner was asleep in the rear cab and had strapped himself in for safety. When the bridge collapsed, he had no chance of escaping. Needham claims that the truck sank to the bottom and that he narrowly escaped. He broke the window to the cab, grabbed a box to help himself surface, and barely made it to the top of the water before he ran out of breath.(12)

Another survivor, Howard Boggs, of Gailipolis, Ohio, lost his small family in the fall. His wife, Marjorie, and seventeen-month-old daughter were in their vehicle when the bridge collapsed. He claims that Marjorie noticed that the bridge was 'quivering' as they became stalled on the bridge in the heavy rush hour traffic. She then asked, "What will we do if this thing breaks?" The next thing Boggs remembers was scrambling for his life by breaking out his car window. Sadly, his wife and child perished in the accident. He could not aid them in their attempt to be freed from the sinking car.(13)

After the collapse, many residents questioned why the bridge would suddenly fall into the river below. Three of the reasons that were commonly heard were:

        1. A supposed 'Sonic Boom' prior to the collapse.
        2. The 'Curse' of Chief Cornstalk.
        3. Structural failure of a bridge member.

The collapsed bridge needed to be thoroughly inspected before the cause could be determined. Without concrete reason for the bridge's failure, every suggested reason was researched until proven incorrect.(14)
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