Survivor stories: Derrik Cole

MINNEAPOLIS - On Aug. 1, 2007 the heavily-used Interstate 35W bridge collapsed, sending concrete and rebar, vehicles and the people inside them plunging into the Mississippi River. Thirteen people lost their lives and 145 were injured, some of them critically.

On the 10-year anniversary of this life-changing event, KARE 11 is checking in with some of those whose lives changed forever that day. We asked each of them three questions.

Here are the answers, in their own words.

Derrik Cole

Where were you when the bridge collapsed?

Justin Probst and myself were nearly centered on the bridge in the inside-most southbound lanes. Justin was driving his mother's car and I was in the front passenger seat. The car was immediately thrown into the river when the bridge collapsed, but we were able to escape unharmed. 

How did it impact your life?

I believe it impacted my life positively. I was fortunate enough to not only survive unharmed, but also took with me a great realization of how lucky we were. I reacted more openly to future ventures and knew I had escaped death so nearly before so I made an extra effort to do all I can in the time I have. 

And where are you now? (physically and emotionally)

Now, emotionally and physically I am doing great. Again, Justin and I were lucky enough to not have been harmed during the collapse.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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