Driver on Bridge Recalls Collapse

A police officer stands guard on a collapsed section of the collapsed bridge. i i

A police officer stands guard near a pile of vehicles resting on a collapsed section of the Interstate 35 West bridge in Minneapolis. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images
A police officer stands guard on a collapsed section of the collapsed bridge.

A police officer stands guard near a pile of vehicles resting on a collapsed section of the Interstate 35 West bridge in Minneapolis.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Peter Siddons was on the I-35 West bridge in Minneapolis when it collapsed in rush hour traffic Wednesday evening. Siddons, who has traveled on the bridge for his daily weekday commute for 15 years, says he was in stop-and-go traffic just short of the water when the collapse began.

"At that point, I heard this roar, this rumbling, almost explosion-like," he says. "At the same time I heard that, the bridge started to roll and buck, and I could feel my car in the back just lift up."

Siddons says he saw sections of the bridge disappear in front of him, and then his section began to dip. "I thought, 'This is it, I'm off the bridge and it's over.'"

Siddons landed on a car, which he says stopped his own car's fall. He escaped his car and began helping to calm down children in the nearby schoolbus that had also been stranded on the bridge.

Though not seriously injured, Siddons went to an emergency room, where he says the staff told him to prepare for a period of recovery from the emotional trauma. "They said it's going to be a process, and you have to go through it," he says. "You can't accelerate, you can't hide it, you've gotta go through it."

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