DETROIT (WXYZ) – A Detroit man said he was walking across the Spruce Street pedestrian bridge over the M-10 in Detroit when suddenly the bridge made a noise and he fell over.
He said the bridge then remained open until he called journalists.
A photo he shared shows the hole in the bridge. Luckily, it’s over concrete shoulder rather than traffic.
The incident happened when Elijah Hydes tried to walk with friends from home to Comerica Park on May 9.
“It just collapsed under my feet and I fell 15-20 meters into the concrete,” Hydes said.
Hydes said the Detroit Police Department and an ambulance responded. However, he refused to go to the emergency room. He doesn’t want to miss the baseball game.
He shared images of his injury taken as he, in pain, tried to enjoy the game against the Detroit Tigers.
“The last thing I remember was reaching out my hand and it was shaking and I was bleeding my phone,” Hydes said. “I’m starting to think it’s funny that I shouldn’t be in this match. I’m bleeding through my shirt, I’m bleeding through my pants, and I’m in the Tigers game.”
He is known to be stubborn when it comes to baseball. He is a Tigers fan who came across then-Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols 2000th RBI in 2019 and refused to sell it or trade it in to Tigers security, sparking controversy. He told 7 Action News in an interview that he would give it to the Pujols if required.
He later donated the ball in honor of his deceased young son to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He said he thought about his family and how precious life is after falling.
“It’s not just me. Everyone in my neighborhood walks across that bridge. My wife and kids use that bridge,” he said. “That bridge must not have anyone on it. When you look at the underside, you can see decades of erosion.”
With the bridge still open, he phoned Detroit News reporter George Hunter, who was scouting the danger. The Michigan Department of Transportation says it’s the first they’re aware of the problem.
MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said she found no records where local authorities contacted the department.
“We’re looking into it, but we have no information at this time,” Detroit police said.
MDOT has now closed the bridge, said it was scheduled to be inspected this month.
Cross said: “Unfortunately someone went on it before we were able to come out and fix the problem.
“The Detroit PD should have told someone or was on the phone that the bridge was unsafe — it had a hole in it,” Hydes said.
“I believe that normally, we have a process for the Detroit police to contact us. I don’t know what happened,” Cross said.
“It’s definitely a problem that needs to be addressed,” Hydes said.
MDOT says the bridge was built in 1953. It’s unclear what the future holds for the bridge.
The inspection staff will determine if it can be repaired or needs to be shredded. MDOT will review its usage as it determines if, in the long run, it should be replaced if the repair period is over.