Five dead, one still missing after Franklin Co., Indiana bridge collapse

Updated: Mar. 20, 2020 at 7:28 PM EDT
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LAUREL, Ind. (FOX19) - Authorities suspended their search Friday night for one person who is still missing following a bridge collapse in Franklin County, Indiana, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Natural Resources.

A van carrying a family of four and a pickup truck with two adults inside went into a creek around 5:45 a.m. after floodwaters washed out the bridge at the intersection of Sanes Creek Road and Tee Hill Road in Laurel, Capt. Jet Quillen said.

A caller told 911 they saw headlights in the creek area and heard calls for help, Quillen said. First responders found the van and then the pickup was located a short time later.

Quillen says it was dark and there was no lighting on the rural road.

“The water is deceiving. The force of that moving water is deceiving so obviously at this point it was strong enough to wash away that bridge which caused a serious traffic hazard,” Quillen said.

Five bodies have been recovered but the victim’s identities are not being released at this time.

FOX19 spoke to a couple who identified themselves as the parents of one of the victims.

They say their 34-year-old daughter had her three children - ages 13, 7 and 4 - in the van.

“She loved her kids more than anything in the world," the victim’s mother said.

She says her daughter was dropping her kids off at a babysitter’s then heading to work.

“We are going to miss her forever. And we appreciate all the help and all the people coming out here and volunteering to look for her,” the victim’s stepfather said.

The search for the final person missing will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Quillen said.

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