Baltimore bridge collapse victim, father of three, was "fighting for us always," wife tells WJZ

Baltimore bridge collapse victim, father of three, was 'fighting for us always,' wife tells WJZ

BALTIMORE - Four construction workers are still missing after a cargo ship crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge Tuesday morning.

But crews paused the recovery mission because of the wreckage posing challenges.

WJZ's Alexus Davila spoke exclusively with the wife of Jose Lopez, of one of the construction workers who remains missing.

Anxiety and pain haunt Isabel Franco every second that her husband is not in her arms.

Lopez was in a concrete mixer truck early Tuesday morning when a 985-foot cargo ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Four and a half hours later, she got a devastating call from the construction company.

"I feel bad," Franco said in Spanish. "Only God knows how hard my heart aches. Maybe he was desperate, trying to escape."

Franco said a coworker told her that the crew was told to pack up for the day and move out early because of weather conditions.

Later that night, police gave her sheets of PowerPoint slides mapping an overview of the search strategy with aerial maps and images of helicopters deployed. However, the update was not in Spanish, so she didn't understand.

She said no local, state or national political leaders have reached out to her.

Her friend, Lilly Ordoñez, helped translate to us how the language barrier makes her feel.

"She's desperate. She feels bad. She doesn't see anything. She doesn't know anything and, yeah, she's desperate," Ordoñez said.

Franco said Lopez moved to the United States 19 years ago from Guatemala.

They have one child together but he was a loving father to all three of her children.

"They are sad," Franco said. "They loved Jose."

"He had a good heart," she added. "He was a hard worker. He was always worried about his family too. He died but he was fighting for us always."

She said Lopez was good friends with the other Guatemalan coworker Dorlian Cabrera, whose body was recovered Wednesday morning.

"I feel bad," she said. "They were always together."

But now with the recovery mission on hold to finish the salvage operation, Franco only wants one thing.

"I feel bad a little bit still because I want the body," she said. "His family is desperate to see him too."

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