ELEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY, the unthinkable happened in Minnesota. The I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed at 6:05 p.m., killing 13 and injuring 145.
At the time I was a freelance writer for the now-defunct Minnesota Moments magazine. Just months after the collapse, I interviewed survivor Garrett Ebling and his then fiancee and a passerby who rushed in to help. I wrote a feature spread that included shared images of Garrett and of the devastation.
All these years later, I remain impressed by Garrett’s strength and determination as he recovered from serious injuries. He would go on to pen a book about his experience. Garrett is a former Faribault Daily News editor, the reason I originally connected with him post bridge collapse.
Today I remember this catastrophe that profoundly impacted Minnesotans and how we view bridges. I remember, too, those who died while simply traveling across a bridge over the Mississippi River. And I remember those who survived, their lives forever changed.
August 1, 2007, remains forever a heartbreaking day in the history of our state.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling