FIU students react to bridge tragedy, are left with horrifying images

FIU students react to bridge tragedy, are left with horrifying images. (WPEC)

As crews sift through the rubble of the fatal bridge collapse, students at Florida International University mourn the loss of one of their own. Many of them reflect back to Thursday and say it could have been them.

FIU Freshman Abraham Cardenias drives on SW 8th Street almost daily. He says Thursday, he was just miles away when the bridge landed on the road.

“About 45 minutes before it collapsed I was literally, I was driving, sitting under the bridge for five minutes in the shade,” he explained.

Scary enough, he wasn’t alone. FIU Senior Brett Shwecky also drove under the bridge that same morning.

“I was on campus in the morning before it happened,” Shwecky said, “I drove underneath that bridge twice that day.”

Initially, students were looking forward to the new pedestrian bridge. It was built to provide a safe route from campus to the popular apartments across the street. However, now, students are left with horrifying images they’ll never forget.

That rings true for Sophomore Tamica Jan-Charles. She witnessed the aftermath of the collapse when she ran to the nearby parking garage just 15 minutes after it fell.

“You could still see cars smashed under. You could see the survivors just staring in shock at what just happened,” Jan-Charles explained, “I saw a lot of first responders going through the rubble but they were struggling and there’s still a lot of it. Everyone was just staring in shock. Some people were crying some people just could not believe what was right in front of their eyes.”

The next step for students, they want answers as to why a $14 million project aimed at better protecting them, resulted in a mass casualty.

Students at FUI are currently on Spring Break, but they return to class on Monday

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