Memorial service held for victims of the I-40 bridge accident

Monday, July 8th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Friends and family on Sunday remember the victims killed in the I-40 bridge collapse. Dozens of people gathered at the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls to pay tribute to the 14 people who died Memorial Day weekend.

It's was an emotional day for the families as the names of their loved ones were read one by one. Truck driver James Bilyeau said he thought his time was up when his truck went off the bridge and into the murky water. "I was ready to say forget it. Open your mouth, take a deep breath and it would be over. All of a sudden I'd seen a little bit of light up above me."

Several fishermen helped pull Bilyeau to safety. He says he'll never forget their heroism on that day.

Bilyeau says his truck driving days are over. He is considering legal action against the barge company, but hasn't decided whether to pursue that yet.