Anxious Relatives Await Word Of Missing Motorists With AM-Bridge Collapse Bjt
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Calls poured in from friends, relatives and employers concerned about people missing following the collapse of a highway bridge, while the raging Schoharie Creek on Tuesday kept crews from recovering the bodies of more victims.
Three bodies were recovered from two cars after a 400-foot section of the bridge on the New York State Thruway, part of Interstate 90, plunged 80 feet into the flooding creek Sunday.
Among the missing were the wife of one of the victims, a woman and her daughter from Saratoga County, three Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. employees from the Albany area, and the driver of a tractor-trailer truck owned by a Wisconsin firm.
The state Thruway Authority in Albany set up a hot line for people concerned about motorists who didn’t make it to their destinations Sunday and State Police Sgt. David Buckbee said about 200 calls had come in.
The body of a New Hampshire man was removed from a crushed white Cadillac downstream from the bridge Sunday and the bodies of two Canadian men were taken from the wreckage of a grey Cadillac on Monday.
The first victim was identified as Douglas L. Shive, 68, of Manchester, N.H. Police there said Shive’s wife, Evangelina, was listed as missing and is believed to have been going with him on a trip to Texas.
The two bodies recovered Monday were identified by State Police as those of Jackson Carey Dalton, 65, of Mississauga, Ontario, and Roland Charbonneau, 61, of Toronto.
The trailer of a truck owned by Schneider National Carriers Inc., of Green Bay, Wis., was pulled from the rushing current with cables and winches Monday, but searchers could not locate the cab.
The company notified the family of the man believed to be the driver, but declined to release the name or hometown pending final verification of the cab’s identification numbers, said vice president John Patterson.
Cynthia Gallagher of Sangerfield, near Utica, said Tuesday that her sister, Kristen Peck, 22, and mother, Mary Louise Peck, 47, were driving to visit her at the time of the collapse and were missing.
Three Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. employees returning to Albany after an overnight stay in Syracuse for a company bowling tournament may also be among the victims.
Niagara Mohawk officials and the families of two of the men said Monday the three were traveling in the same car and had gone ahead of friends in another vehicle who stopped for coffee. The men who had stopped for coffee reached the bridge minutes after it collapsed.
Theresa Gregory, fiancee of Edward M. Meyer, 50, of Albany, one of the missing men, said, ″We started making calls when we heard about the tragedy,″ Gregory said tearfully. ″Eddie’s the type who would always call if he was going to be late.
″I was supposed to go with him. I wish I had gone. Maybe they would have left later.″