Oct 16-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: October: Oct 16-11
Bridge Celebration in 1958    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from U.P. Digitization Center

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:17 am:

Although the Mackinac Bridge was opened November 1, 1957, the official dedication ceremony wasn't held until the following summer. Wonder if any of our Pasty Cam visitors were there for the fireworks?

As you may have heard, there was a fatality on the bridge this past Friday. According to Mackinac Bridge Authority administrator Bob Sweeney, a southbound semi-tractor-trailer driver apparently had a heart attack and jumped the centerline, plowing head-on into the northbound lane. The semi missed one car, but hit another almost head-on. The two people in the car did not have life-threatening injuries, but the truck driver didn't survive.

From 1954 to its opening in 1957 five workers lost their lives during construction of the bridge. Two other fatalities have occurred with vehicles driving off the bridge - a lady from Royal Oak whose subcompact jumped the railing in 1989, and a speeding SUV in 1997 that was ruled a suicide.

Our thanks to the Upper Peninsula Regional Digitization Center for the 1957 black and white fireworks photo. In case you haven't been to their website lately, it's a lot easier to navigate, with many new additions to their collections of U.P. visual history.

Just a reminder today to drive carefully. Have a good week :o)

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:36 am:

Nice photo and I can remember reading about these accidents. There was a crude joke going around about the '97 accident that never seemed appropriate.

By Mike Schneider (Upmike) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:37 am:

Wow! really like this photo with the fireworks. The black and white gives it that neat quality. Notice all the cars parked watching on.

By Donna (Donna) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 08:37 am:

Wow...great info...How many of the Pasty Peeps worked on this bridge? I knew of one man, but he has since passed.

On another note....Neil..how about a flyover of the crop circles over in Bark River? Or do you know a fellow pilot in that area??


By Phil Kuusisto (Pkuusisto) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 09:05 am:

Great picture. There was another person killed on the bridge on Friday. He was a semi truck driver and they believed he had a heart attack.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 09:53 am:

What a neat picture! Funny thing....when I first looked at the picture, I thought those cars were boulders. Thanks for clearing that up, Upmike!;)

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 09:59 am:

Being a history buff, I say thanks 4 posting this photo.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 10:04 am:

Have to wonder, concerning the article about the 'suicide' ruling in the SUV death, could it have been caused by a malfunction of the vehicle? I say this because I experienced something like that when a motor support broke on my car's engine....it suddenly revved up and the only way to slow it down was to shift into neutral.I have read of that happening to some drivers and they panic! Thankfully, I was not involved in an accident, but it was plenty scarey!

By Sdcferndale (Sdcferndale) on Sunday, October 16, 2011 - 11:50 am:

My Uncle was one of many electricians who did the wiring on the bridge. Being afraid of heights, no WAY could I have worked on that bridge, then again, I was 3 when the bridge opened :)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 04:46 am:

It is sooooo windy.

By Marie Ryding (Maryding) on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:41 pm:

Double chocolate fudge in Mackinac City delayed me from crossing the Mighty Mac at the time of the accident on Friday.

I haven't bought fudge in awhile but I was returning from a conference downstate and a visit to my daughter in Ann Arbor and planned to be crossing the bridge at 2 pm. I realized that I was slightly ahead of schedule, started thinking of Kilwin's fudge, and decided to pick up some for the office as well as at home.

Saw the first responders with lights flashing going through town after I left the shop. When I was approaching one of the on ramps, traffic came to a halt and someone coming off the ramp stopped at each vehicle to alert us that there was going to be a delay due to a vehicle being on the rail.

Had a couple of paperbacks in the car so pulled into a parking spot where I could view the bridge and read for awhile. All the action was focused on the center span. Ended up crossing the bridge at 6 p.m. and stayed in Munising for the night (I was wiped out from 12+ hours in the car).

To finish this long story, I had just passed through Chassell on Saturday and saw the sheriff's patrol car near the Portage Lake Golf Course with sirens and flashers going. Found out later that there was an attempted bank robbery in Chassell. I can definitely do without all this excitement when I'm travelling.

By Greta Jones (Urbanescapees) on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:53 pm:

I have to agree with you, Shirley about maybe a malfunction of the vehicle in the "suicide" accident. If a vehicles lower ball joints go out, the front end of the vehicle will dig into the pavement and spin the car out violently and uncontrollably, especially at freeway speeds. Did they do an investigation on the vehicle?? If not, the cause of the accident in the police report should be "inconclusive" as to the cause of the tragedy.

By James W. Hird (Wvyooper) on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 08:09 pm:

I always thought the little car going over the bridge was a myth?

By Lisa Walters (Ypsilisa) on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 05:16 pm:

Nope, it wasn't a myth. There were high winds that day and the car was a lightweight Yugo.

By Lisa Walters (Ypsilisa) on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 05:20 pm:

P.S. If you Google it, you will find lots of info and verification.

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