16 years ago today South Padre Island’s Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway collapsed on the night of September 15th 2001 Killing eight people when they plunged from the roadway 80 feet below into the bay.

Witnesses watched as two 80 foot slabs of the causeway plummeted into the Laguna Madre bay along with a trail of cars and their passengers.

Those killed were:

  • Robert Harris, 46,
  • Hector Martinez, 32,
  • “Harpoon” Barry Welch, 53,
  • Chelsea Welch, 23, all of Port Isabel;
  • Julio Mireles, 23, of Los Fresnos;
  • Robin Leavell, 29, of Mercedes;
  • Stevan Rivas, 22, of Humble,
  • Aspar Hinojosa, 52, of Kingsville.

According to reports it took nearly two weeks for all of the bodies to be recovered.

When news first broke, the collapse was speculated to be a terrorist attack in conjunction to 9/11 which happened just four days prior.

The bridge reopened more than two months after the collapse.
Today, city officials, family members, friends, and we here at Fox News South Texas remember the lives lost that day.