A picture of Paul Eickstadt still stands in his sister's home, the last piece of a life lost when the I-35W bridge collapsed 10 years ago.
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Even 10 years later, emotions are still raw for survivors and those who lost loved ones when the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed, leaving 13 dead and another 145 injured.
Paul Eickstadt's sister keeps a picture of her brother at Grand Teton National Park--one of her favorites of him, she says. He died when the bridge collapsed, starting his morning shift to Mason City, Iowa, as a delivery driver for Sara Lee Bakery.
He had apparently just waved to a group of kids on a school bus next to him when the bridge went down, driving in front of their vehicle at the last second in a manuever that may have saved their lives that day.
"I don't know exactly the sequence of events to say that he saved lives, but I believe that if he were in a situation where he could have, he would have," Susan Espeseth said. "For the kids."
And though he's missed out on a lot of family milestones in the past year, Paul's family takes solace in the fact that they will see him again.
For their part, Susan and her husband plan to attend some of the official events marking the 10 year anniversary of that tragic day, hoping to give her thanks to the various first responders, city officials and strangers that have all helped her heal in one way or another.