DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit man says he was crossing the Spruce Street pedestrian bridge over M-10 in Detroit when suddenly the bridge gave way and he fell.
He says the bridge then remained open until he called reporters.
A photo he shared shows the gaping hole in the bridge. Luckily it’s over the concrete shoulder rather than through traffic.
It happened as Elijah Hydes attempted to walk with friends from his home in Comerica Park on May 9.
“It just crumbled under my feet and I fell 15 to 20 feet onto concrete,” Hydes said.
Hydes says the Detroit Police Department and an ambulance responded. However, he refused to go to the emergency room. He didn’t want to miss the baseball game.
He shared photos of his injuries taken as he tried, in pain, to enjoy the Detroit Tigers game.
“The last thing I remember is reaching out my hand and it was shaking and I was bleeding on my phone,” Hydes said. “I started to think it was kind of funny that I wasn’t at this game. I’m bleeding through my shirt, bleeding through my pants and I’m at a Tigers game.
He is known to be stubborn when it comes to baseball. He is the Tigers fan who nabbed Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols 2000th RBI in 2019 and refused to sell or trade him to Tigers safety, sparking controversy. He told 7 Action News in an interview that he would give it to Pujols if asked.
He later donated the ball in honor of his deceased young son to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He says he thought about his family and how precious life is after the fall.
“It’s not just me. Everyone in my neighborhood crosses that bridge. My wife and children use this bridge,” he said. “This bridge shouldn’t have anyone walking on it. When you look down you can see decades of erosion.
When the bridge remained open, he called Detroit News reporter George Hunter, who highlighted the danger. The Michigan Department of Transportation says that was when it first learned of the problem.
MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said she found no evidence that the department had been contacted by local authorities.
“We are investigating the matter, but have no information at this time,” Detroit police said in a statement.
MDOT has now closed the bridge, saying it should be inspected this month.
“It’s unfortunate that someone stepped on it before we could come out and fix it,” Cross said.
“Detroit PD should have told someone or been on the phone saying the bridge isn’t safe — there’s a gaping hole,” Hydes said.
“I believe normally we have a process for Detroit police to contact us. I don’t know what happened,” Cross said.
“It’s definitely an issue that needs to be addressed,” Hydes said.
The MDOT says the bridge was built in 1953. It is unclear what the future of the bridge will be.
Inspectors will determine if it can be repaired or if it should be torn down. MDOT will consider its usage as it determines whether, in the long term, it should be replaced if it is beyond repair.