Good Samaritan who helped bridge collapse victim shares ordeal

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A driver who narrowly avoided the bridge collapse near Florida International University said she ran to the scene to search for survivors and help a girl who was trapped.

Suzie Bermudez said she is still haunted by the victim’s screams and the sound of ambulance sirens. “The horns, and the girl that survived, Emily. Her screams, I’ll never forget it,” she said.

The good Samaritan said she was driving her usual route down Southwest Eighth Street in West Miami-Dade, Thursday afternoon, when she came to a sudden stop.

She then stared in disbelief as 950 tons of concrete collapsing just feet away from her.

“The only reason I stopped was because the guy in front of me stopped. That was the only reason,” said Bermudez. “I was maybe three seconds away from being under that bridge.”

Cellphone video captured a shocked Bermudez bolting toward the bridge.

 

“I ran because I knew that these were someone’s children or uncles or parents, and I just wanted to help,” she said. “It was very devastating.”

Bermudez and several others were the first good Samaritans to provide help until police arrived.

Their focus quickly shifted to a young woman trapped in a red sedan.

“They laid her there, and she was just in shock,” said Bermudez. “Trembling, screaming, and I guess her neck, she said, was hurting her.”

With eight cars pinned under the rubble, Bermudez looked for other survivors in need of help, but there were none in sight.

“On the opposite side of the bridge, I saw that there were other survivors, but on my side [Emily] was the only one,” she said. “I remember telling her, I said, ‘Baby girl, God has a purpose for you.'”

Bermudez was certain her own purpose was to help the injured in this tragedy that, she said, will forever change her.

“I got to hug my kids again last night and give them a big kiss,” she said. “Always, always tell your loved ones, before you leave, ‘I love you.'”

Bermudez has remained in touch with Emily to continue to comfort her during her recovery.

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