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'Completely preventable:' One year after Fern Hollow's collapse, victims file lawsuits

Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse: One Year Later
Fern Hollow Bridge Collapse: One Year Later 02:27

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. 


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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