Officials: Bridge was overcrowded

Pedestrian bridge gave way after fireworks
July 6, 2009 (MERRILLVILLE, Ind.) Dozens of people fell into the water when the pedestrian bridge collapsed after a Fourth of July fireworks show on Saturday night in Hidden Lake Park. No serious injuries were reported.

Hidden Lake Park reopened on Monday though the bridge remains closed. An inspector says the bridge was regularly inspected; he said the structure was overcrowded after the fireworks show because people ignored police.

Some witnesses who returned to the scene on Monday to find missing belongs said there was not a warning.

"There was no light. No light at all. I don't understand how there was no light and everybody just went down and you just hear all this screaming," said Tasha Rodriguez, bridge collapse victim.

Authorities are still looking into what led up to the accident.

"It's still under investigation. It will probably have to be looked at by a structural engineer to find out exactly what failed during the course of the night," said Phil Topor, Ross Township Fire Service.

A lawsuit is already in the works- and could be filed as early as Tuesday, according to Kenneth Allen, attorney.

"The truth of the matter is those in charge need to be held accountable because human life is too precious, health is too precious and a child's happiness -- a child is thrown in the middle of muddy, dark water in the night, scared to death, that shouldn't happen. That shouldn't happen," said Kenneth J. Allen, personal injury attorney.

Several people who were on the bridge when it gave way returned Monday to pick up belongs that fell into the water.

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