Pittsburgh bridge collapse: Bus driver says he is ‘Just thankful to be alive.’

Daryl Luciani had picked up an extra shift on Friday morning and was driving a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus with two passengers aboard, headed out of Pittsburgh.

Suddenly, while driving across the Forbes Avenue bridge, the bridge collapsed, Luciani told WTAE, the Pittsburgh ABC-affiliated TV station.

“I’m a little shaken up here, you know, just thankful to be alive,” Luciani told WTAE.

As Luciani, 58, drove the 60-foot bus onto the bridge, he said suddenly the bus started “bouncing and shaking.”

Luciani said he felt the bridge falling as the bus continued across. “It was scary. It happened quick,” he said. “I just wasn’t sure where the bus was gonna end up.”

After the snow-covered bridge in Pittsburgh collapsed, ten people were injured and three were taken to a hospital. The three hospitalized people obtained non-life-threatening injuries, Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said Friday. At the time of the bridge crashing, five vehicles and one bus were on the bridge.

“It was one of those things that you usually see on TV when you’re watching those shows,” he said on WTAE. “It just happened so fast.”

Fern Hollow Bridge in Pittsburgh that collapsed Friday morning, Jan. 28, 2022.

Bridge was in ‘poor’ condition: 10 injured, 3 hospitalized after Pittsburgh bridge collapse

Fortunately, Luciani was uninjured and said his two passengers appeared to be uninjured, too, after first responders used a ladder to pull them out of the debris.

Luciani wasn’t the only one driving on the bridge. Jeremy Habowski said he and other drivers witnessed the bridge crumbling but were unable to stop their cars.

Vehicles that were on a bridge when it collapsed are visible, Friday Jan. 28, 2022, in Pittsburgh's East End.

“The scariest part was definitely going over the edge because there was a gap and my car left the ground,” Habowski said.

Once the bridge settled, Habowski checked on the other drivers stuck in the collapse before climbing up the hill to warn other oncoming drivers.

“It was a lot to take in,” he told CNN.

Photo posted on twitter by Pittsburgh resident Greg Barnhisel at 7:42 a.m. on Jan 28, 2022 showing a bus on a collapsed bridget in Pittsburgh.  The original tweet from his account (https://twitter.com/gbarnhisel) read:
“The Forbes Ave bridge over #frickpark in #pittsburgh collapsed at about 6am. Several vehicles and a bus on the bridge. No injuries reported yet. Strong smell of natural gas. Avoid the area #pittsburghbridgecollapse”

The collapse came just before President Joe Biden’s scheduled visit to the city to address a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes bridge maintenance. Biden promised to “fix” all of the bridges in poor condition.

“We’re going to fix them all,” Biden said of the bridges in Pittsburgh and the estimated 45,000 across the country rated in poor condition. “We’re sending the money.”

First responders load an empty stretcher into an ambulance at the scene where a bridge collapsed, Friday Jan. 28, 2022, in Pittsburgh's East End.

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