What to Know
- The bridge collapse near FIU killed six people on Thursday.
- Two men who were partners died when the bridge crashed down.
- A lawyer for the families of the two men said a lawsuit will be filed once all victims are laid to rest.
Osvaldo González and Alberto Arias were partners for 21 years. They were together and were both killed when the pedestrian bridge collapsed near FIU. Despite the tragedy, their unity will continue after death as they were buried next to one another.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the families of the "soul mates" said the partners of over two decades will be buried on Wednesday.
Arias' nephew Luis said Arias, 53, and González, 57, were "two beautiful beings." Luis sent his condolences to the other families who are mourning. The bridge collapse near Florida International University killed four other people.
"They were partners. They were together in their ups. They were together in their downs," Luis said. "They were together in their travels and enjoying life – and they will be together when they're laid to rest."
Luis said the men were "selfless" and that they were always "full of life, full of joy."
The Cuban men were driving together before the 950-ton bridge crashed down.
"Up to their final moment, they were together," Luis said.
Osvaldo’s sister Marisol González and his nephew Erik Rojas were also at the press conference.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Arias' mother
"Alberto wanted to make sure that his mom was taken care of and that she had a roof over her head for the remaining years of her life," the GoFundMe page reads. "Please help Alberto take care of his mom, even if it is posthumously."
Yesenia Collazo, the lawyer representing the Arias and González families, said they have not yet filed a lawsuit out of respect for victims. They will wait until everyone has been laid to rest and will continue to gather information in the meantime, she said.
Collazo said the entire incident could have been avoided if officials simply put up barricades, particularly if those involved in the project knew there were cracks in the structure.
An engineer of the company that designed the bridge warned the Florida Department of Transportation in a voicemail of cracks two days prior to the collapse, but said the company was "not concerned" from a "safety perspective." An FDOT official heard the voicemail the day after the bridge collapsed.
"If there was a crack at the bridge, why did they not barricade the roads?" Collazo said.
The funeral viewing event for the partners was on Tuesday. They were buried on Wednesday.
A lawsuit has already been filed against the companies involved in the design and building of the bridge that collapsed near FIU on Thursday.
The first lawsuit was filed by a man who said he was seriously injured as he rode a bicycle under the bridge as it collapsed. The lawsuit alleges a car swerving to avoid the falling concrete struck the cyclist.