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Family out fishing captures video of barge hitting Oklahoma bridge

Story at a glance


  • A family out fishing in the Arkansas River in Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon caught the moment a massive barge crashed into a busy highway bridge, shutting it down for hours.

  • The crash happened near Sallisaw. The bridge is on U.S. Highway 59, a busy roadway on a Saturday afternoon.

  • Officials don’t know what caused the barge to crash into the bridge. They later released pictures showing the damage.

SALLISAW, Okla. (KFOR) – A family out fishing in the Arkansas River in Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon caught the moment a massive barge crashed into a busy highway bridge, shutting it down for hours.

“I looked over at my dad and asked if it was going to hit the bridge and he was like, ‘I don’t think so,'” said Dayton Holland.

The crash happened in the Arkansas River near Sallisaw. The bridge is on U.S. Highway 59, a busy roadway on a Saturday afternoon.

“There were cars driving everywhere on the road above,” said Holland.

The video, which has gone viral, sparked thousands of views. Holland said she couldn’t believe what she saw. “He looked back just before it hit, and he’s like, ‘Yes, it is,'” she said.

In the video, her father is heard asking her brother to call first responders immediately.

Officials don’t know what caused the barge to crash into the bridge. They later released pictures showing the damage.

Holland’s brother is heard in the video telling dispatch that the barge was loose and seemingly floating down the river separately.

Fortunately, no injuries had been reported as of Saturday night, and the road was closed for only a few hours while officials investigated.

This comes just a few days after the deadly bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland.

“We had talked about that after, how similar it was,” said Holland. “But this obviously was on a much smaller scale.”

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore fell early Tuesday as the crew of the cargo ship Dali lost power and control. They called in a mayday, which allowed just enough time for police to stop vehicles from getting on the bridge, but not enough time to get a crew of eight workers off the structure.

Two workers survived, two bodies were found in a submerged pickup and four more men are presumed dead. Weather conditions and the tangled debris underwater have made it too dangerous for divers to search for their bodies.

Crews are still picking up what’s left of that crash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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