Witness describes ship hitting Mathews Bridge

By Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter, hwinslow@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 26 2013 11:01:53 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 11:39:32 PM EDT

The US Navy Support Ship Harry L. Martin was being towed by tug boats, when it struck the span of the bridge, knocking a steel support beam loose. The bridge has been "closed indefinitely". Hailey Winslow spoke to a man who witnessed the accident.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

David Kight told Channel 4 Thursday night that he saw the events under the Mathews Bridge unfold.

"It goes through just like a piece of pie, just like you cut a piece of pie or a piece of paper or something," said Kight.

Kight works at the shipyard near the Mathews Bridge and with his co-workers, watched the massive Navy support ship, go under the Mathews Bridge.

"I was standing right over there on the back of that barge that we have at dry dock. I'm saying man, that looks high it, looks like it's going to hit," said Kight. "He goes no it's not going to hit, they got all that."

The four tugboats, leading the USNS Harry L. Martin from Blount Island to the other side of the North Florida Shipyard, made it under but the stern didn't fit. The lift ramp on the left side, which is called the port side King Post buttress, hit the top of the bridge.

Kight said he heard the screeching metal.

IMAGES: Ship hits Mathews Bridge | UNCUT:  Cell phone video  

"Pieces fell in the water. The best thing about it is it missed that 'X.' Where that 'X' is, had it hit that, that could've been a catastrophe," said Kight. "There was a big truck, a semi, it was white and it was right there at the exact moment."

As soon as Kight saw what was happening, he pulled out his phone to dial 911.

"Bless the fact that nobody died. There was life and death there, but thank the Lord it worked like it did," said Kight.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus