First Florida bridge collapse victim identified as international student, 18

Alexa Duran, 18 years old, student at Florida International University, was killed in Thursday’s catastrophic bridge collapse.

The first victim identified in the catastrophic Florida bridge collapse that killed six people on Thursday, was an 18-year-old Florida International University (FIU) student is considered to be a “great person” by friends.

Alexa Duran was driving her Toyota SUV under the structure when it collapsed on her vehicle, according to the Miami Herald. Duran reportedly became embedded in the rubble.

“This is going to be the longest and saddest journey of my life. I don’t want to go back.”

– Alexa Duran’s father, Orlando, travel in London, when the news of the bridge collapse broke.

“My little girl was locked in the car and couldn’t get out. She died when the bridge collapsed on the roof of her car,” Orlando Duran told el Nuevo Herald from London, where he was on tour when news of the death of his daughter.

“This is going to be the longest and saddest journey of my life. I do not want to return,” he said.

Alexa Duran, right, died on Thursday the deadly bridge collapse in Florida.


Duran was reportedly driving along FIE when the bridge collapsed. A friend in the passenger seat managed to escape, but was unable to Duran from the vehicle.

“The way the bridge fell, it fell on the driver’s side,” FIU student Manny Perez told the Herald. Perez and Lynnet Gomez, another student at the university, spoke to the electrical outlet in the vicinity of the FIU family reunification center Thursday as they waited for information about Duran location.

“She is the funniest person I know,” Gomez said of her friend, who is a political science major in her first year at the school. Duran and Gomez were both in the same association.

Duran, Perez said, was “one of those people who light in a room, a circumstance, a situation. She always makes her presence known.”

In addition to the six killed after the “Instant Bridge collapsed on Thursday, at least 10 others were injured. The $14.2 million pedestrian bridge was supposed to open next year, to help students in crossing the busy road, next to the campus. But the accelerated construction was completed early and the bridge was installed last weekend.

In the aftermath of the collapse, family members and friends of people still missing gathered Friday in South Florida, desire and pray for miracles as authorities searched the broken concrete.

While the families waited, the researchers have tried to understand why the 950-ton bridge failed during construction. The cables of the bridge were tightened after a “stress test” when it collapsed, authorities said.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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