Survivor Remembers Fatal Webbers Falls Bridge Collapse 15 Years Later

Friday, May 26th 2017, 6:47 pm
By: News On 6

Fifteen years ago, a barge hit the Interstate 40 bridge in Webbers Falls, causing it to collapse and killing 14 people.

Goldie Alley survived the tragedy and said the memory of that day will never fade away.

Alley said she and her husband, Max, were heading to a church revival when, all of the sudden, their truck was flying through the air.

"I think about how God really saved us," she said.

It's been 15 years since Alley's brush with death. She keeps pictures of her crumpled truck and the devastating I-40 collapse scene.

A barge hit the bridge, sending a huge stretch of it plummeting into the water below.

The pictures serve as a reminder of how quickly tragedy can strike, but also a reminder of God's promise.

“That happened so fast. I will say one thing, you better be prayed up and ready to go, cause hon, you don't think about praying. It happened so fast you're wondering what happened," Alley said.

She said one minute her husband was driving, the next, they were falling.

Alley said, "We was in the air and I said, ‘Max, what happened?’ and he didn't answer me, and, all at once, we went down."

Somehow they landed on a broken part of the bridge.

Her husband had several broken bones in his back; she only had chest pain and arm bruising.

"We were the only ones who didn't go in the water that day," Alley said.

As more cars came crashing down, she and her husband sat there, watching.

The pressure of hitting the water crushed them.

"It was terrible, and I said, ‘Max, we're gonna have to do something?’ and I just went to praying. Watching those vehicles hitting the water knowing that was it," she said.

Still, Alley prays for the 14 people killed. She said you never know what life will bring, so she lives by a simple rule, “Stay close to God and always keep prayed up.”

The city is holding a 15-year memorial service Monday morning at 11:00.

Alley's husband passed away six years ago from cancer.