Survivor of bridge collapse calls husband her hero


by KING 5 News

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Updated Monday, May 27 at 9:16 PM

Work began Monday to clean debris out of the Skagit River after a section of Interstate 5 collapsed into the water last Thursday.

A crane on a barge pulled a trailer out of the water before sunrise. A car and pickup truck were pulled out around noon.

Sally Sligh, who was riding in the pickup with her husband Dan last Thursday is a hospice nurse who was in the hospital overnight after the accident

Her living room is filled with "Get Well" wishes in the form of gifts and flowers.

Dan Sligh was able to get Sally into the driver's seat and out of the water after their truck and trailer went in. She says he saved her life.

"He is my hero, without him...maybe I'm dead," Sally Sligh said.

Sally Sligh can't swim and Dan Sligh had to keep her calm once they were in the water waiting for help. Both of them are thankful to be safe at home.

"I think its divine intervention," Dan Sligh said. "It's impossible for me to believe that we cleared all of that without some help from somewhere else."

The Washington State Department of Transportation said the rest of the clean-up operation will be done carefully due to uncertainty over the stability of the wreckage.

An excavator will start cutting into the mangled steel Monday. It acts like a giant pair of scissors, but WSDOT says there is still a lot of pressure on the steel, so the right pieces need to be cut for safety.

Drivers have started getting used to the new detours around the I-5 closure, but WSDOT is advising that anyone going through the area should plan to add at least an extra hour to their trip.

A temporary replacement bridge is expected to be installed as early as mid-June. The four lanes will be narrower and the speed limit will be reduced. No oversized vehicles like the one that triggered the collapse will be allowed on the temporary bridge.