Updated: 10:15 a.m. Fri., May 24
Mount Vernon, Wash. (WSYR-TV) - Drivers and their cars were hurled into freezing water after a portion of an interstate bridge collapsed Thursday evening in Washington State.
Just before 7p.m., a 150 yard long chunk of I-5, the main freeway on the west coast, suddenly dropped 120 feet into the Skagit River.
It happened in Mount Vernon, Washington, two hours north of Seattle.
Two cars and three people plummeted into the water.
One survivor, Dan Sligh, said, "I hit the breaks. The weight of the trailer and everything else we went right off the bridge"
As water began rushing into his car, Sligh says he knew his shoulder was dislocated.
“I couldn't see my wife in the passenger seat, I asked her if she was okay, she was not responding. I popped my shoulder back in so I could unbuckle everything and get back over to her."
He managed to get his door open and escape with his wife, soon finding himself talking to another man also sitting on the hood of his car in the water.
Rescuers rushed in by boat were relieved to learn that only three people fell through, all injured, but lucky to be alive.
Police say it appears that a semi-truck struck a steal beam above the roadway and that may have triggered the collapse.
The bridge is old, built in 1955, and in need of constant work, including two repairs just last year.