One of the survivors of the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse who witnessed his friend die said he continues to have frightening flashbacks and is filing a lawsuit to find out who is responsible.
Richard Humble, a pre-med student majoring in chemistry at FIU, looked ahead towards a bright future but now he says he suffers frequent flashbacks of the moment the pedestrian bridge fell on top of him and killed his dearest friend on March 15.
"I’d say every other day I have flashbacks and it’s hard to handle and it’s really scary because I can’t even control myself," Humble said at a news conference Monday.
The 19-year-old was in the car with his friend Alexa Duran who was giving him a ride to the doctor’s office after he had a high fever the night before. He says he heard a crack and then saw the bridge come down on top of them.
"All I could do is call out her her name, scream her name, I ducked down," Humble said.
He recalls trying to escape from underneath the rubble, his friend never responded.
"I looked back at Alexa a couple of times, she wasn’t say anything. I had her blood on me and I didn’t even know what to do. She just wasn’t moving. Looked back one more time and just saw her hair," he said.
Humble was rescued and suffered minor injuries but his mother said she now witnesses his emotional pain.
"Extremely difficult, he is a 19-year-old who cannot take a shower without screaming, crying. I’ve had to go on and get him out of the shower," Lourdes Humble said. "It’s very difficult to see your son in the fetal position crying when he should be happy."
Humble said he does not understand why more safety precautions were not taken.
"I don’t understand why they did it all. Those are human lives at risk and it's something you shouldn’t play with at all," Humble said.
His attorney said he is committed to finding out everyone who is responsible for the tragedy and has filed a lawsuit against nine defendants involved in designing, constructing, installing and inspecting the bridge.
"In a project that is bid for in this community...clearly inspections did not do their jobs, engineering didn’t not do its job, construction did not do its job and people die. What's up? What’s going on here?" attorney Stuart Grossman said.
Grossman was one of the attorneys that represented four workers killed when a Miami Dade College garage under construction in Doral collapsed in 2012. Those cases against the general contractor and several subcontractors were settled out of court.