FIU holds moment of silence on anniversary of fatal pedestrian bridge collapse

SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Friday marks one year since the Southwest Eighth Street pedestrian bridge collapsed near Florida International University.

The school held a moment of silence at 1:47 p.m. to remember and honor the six lives lost that day.

“To remind us of the lives lost and the families shattered,” said President Mark Rosenberg in a video.

The FIU flags were flown at half-staff as the Graham Center bells rang out six times, once for each of the victims.

“It’s tough reliving this nightmare, watching her get crushed alive in front of us,” said Rob Smitha, the cousin of victim Alexa Duran.

In just seconds, families were destroyed when the pedestrian bridge came crashing down.

Parents like Gina Duran continue to hold on to the memories their children left behind.

“She knew a lot of people. A lot of people loved her because she was very friendly,” said Duran.

As agonizing as it is to come back, loved ones pushed through the pain to remember the victims.

“Very sad. Very sad to come back. She came all the way from Long Island. I’m here from Tampa Bay, so it brings back a lot of memories,” said a relative of Alexa.

Federal investigators determined there were cracks in the bridge’s foundation following the incident.

Now, local leaders want to make sure it never happens again.

“From every tragedy, one of the things that happens is we learn from that tragedy so that people in the future won’t suffer the same consequences,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

For the families who lost everything, future safeguards don’t do much to ease the pain.

“Not any easier than it was a year ago than when we stood here many hours waiting for our loved one to come back to us, and he didn’t,” said Debbie Brownfield, the mother of victim Brandon Brownfield.

Families said they still demand to know more about the incident.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.