WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | Sports

Pistons' Coach Near Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

DETROIT (AP) - Road construction put Detroit Pistons coach Flip
Saunders on the 10th Avenue bridge Wednesday in Minneapolis.
The detour perhaps saved his life.
"I usually take the 35W bridge, but the ramp was closed,"
Saunders said Thursday from Minneapolis in a telephone interview
with The Associated Press. "My daughter was driving in a car right
behind me when the bridge collapsed - about 20 yards away from us.
It sounded like a bomb when it dropped.
"I got out of my car and the first thing I heard was the kids
screaming on the bus. I called 911. I didn't really know what else
I could do."
Saunders, a former Minnesota Timberwolves coach, was driving
home after speaking at Tubby Smith's basketball camp at the
University of Minnesota, where Saunders starred as a player.
"A day later, I'm still in a surreal state of mind," he said.
"I can still see what happened. It's kind of like having
flashbacks."
Divers checked submerged cars in the Mississippi River on
Thursday for victims still trapped beneath the twisted steel and
concrete slabs of a collapsed bridge.
The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge, a major Minneapolis
artery, was in the midst of repairs when the bridge buckled during
the evening rush hour Wednesday. Dozens of cars plummeted more than
60 feet into the river, some falling on top of one another. A
school bus sat on the angled concrete.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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