'Completely preventable:' One year after Fern Hollow's collapse, victims file lawsuits
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - One year ago today, the Fern Hollow Bridge collapsed into a ravine in Frick Park.
ONE YEAR LATER: Remembering the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh
All eyes were turned to Pittsburgh and national news focused on the disaster that's still being talked about today.
It was around 7 a.m. on January 28, 2022, when first responders rushed to the scene where the 447-foot-long bridge that was opened in the 1970s had collapsed just as the morning commute began.
Ten people were injured in total and four of those people were taken to the hospital.
Thankfully, no one died.
President Joe Biden was on the scene hours after the collapse. He was already scheduled to be in Pittsburgh that day, touting his historic infrastructure plan.
FERN HOLLOW BRIDGE COVERAGE:
- Fern Hollow Bridge will open this week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirms
- President Biden returns to Fern Hollow Bridge to talk infrastructure
- Crews begin pumping concrete to create deck of new Fern Hollow Bridge
- Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse: 5th lawsuit set to be filed against city of Pittsburgh
- Oversized Load: Final beams for Fern Hollow Bridge start arriving at construction site
- City of Pittsburgh denies request for Fern Hollow Bridge inspection history documents
- Report finds Fern Hollow Bridge appeared to have had 'major decay' just months before collapse
- NTSB: Bus camera gives information on sequence of Fern Hollow Bridge collapse
- Port Authority Officers Recognized For Swift Response To Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse
- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg Trying To Expedite Money For Local Bridge Repairs After Collapse
- What To Expect As Demolition, Rebuilding Process Begins At Site Of Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse
- PHOTO GALLERY: Fern Hollow Bridge Collapses In Pittsburgh's Frick Park
What followed in the aftermath was a huge rebuilding project costing millions of dollars and nearly around-the-clock work.
Then, just days before Christmas 2022, the bridge was reopened.
Today, one lane in each direction of the bridge is open, but the construction won't be fully completed until the summer.
Now, the bridge has been fixed and reopened, and several lawsuits have been filed against the city regarding the collapse, but there is still no conclusion on what caused the collapse.
Two families are suing the city over injuries sustained during the collapse of the bridge.
The suits have been filed by the Perry family and the Bench family.
Members of both families were on the bridge that connects Squirrel Hill to Regent Square and Point Breeze on the day of the collapse.
According to the lawsuits, their attorneys claim the city was negligent in maintaining and repairing the bridge, which they say led to the collapse. They also said the city was aware of drainage issues and advanced deterioration for at least 25 years and failed to address the problems.
In a statement released by their attorneys, they say "the collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge, while tragic, was completely preventable. Our lawsuit is designed to prioritize and address devastating injuries and permanent impact upon the innocent victims and their families, and implement policy measures to protect our fellow citizens."
Multiple other victims from the incident are also in the process of suing the city over the collapse.
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