Two years later, a 35W bridge survivor reflects on the tragedy

Lindsay Petterson
Lindsay Petterson, 25, of St. Louis Park broke her back when her Volkwagen Passat plunged to the bottom of the Mississippi River when the I-35W bridge collapsed.
MPR Photo/Laura Yuen

One survivor of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse says she still has to work at healing herself physically and emotionally every day.

Today marks the second anniversary of the collapse that claimed 13 lives and injured more than 140 people. Lindsey Petterson was driving her car across the bridge when it buckled under her sending her crashing into the river below. She suffered a fractured back.

Petterson said she's healed a lot from two years ago but she still thinks about it every day:

"I just can't pretend it will go away," she said. "I have to be actively involved in helping myself heal from it. I think that's been a big part of the last two years of my life...it's kind of second full time job for me."

Petterson says she still has some pain, both physically and emotionally, but she said she also has a new outlook:

"It's a lot easier for me to identify what's not important," she said. "I'm alive and I'm happy and this is all that matters and so I think it's given me a perspective is a blessing in disguise."

Flags will fly at half-staff today and there'll be a moment of silence at 6:05 p.m., when the bridge fell two years ago.

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