Man says he fell through Detroit pedestrian bridge during walk to Tigers game

Posted at 4:46 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 04:46:14-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit man says he was walking across the Spruce Street pedestrian bridge over M-10 in Detroit when suddenly, the bridge gave out and he fell through.

He says the bridge then remained open until he called journalists.

A picture he shared shows the gaping hole in the bridge. It fortunately is over the concrete shoulder rather than traffic.

It happened as Elijah Hydes tried to walk with friends from his home to Comerica Park on May 9.

“It just collapsed underneath my feet and I fell 15-20 feet onto concrete,” Hydes said.

Hydes says the Detroit Police Department and an ambulance responded. He refused, however, to go to the emergency room. He didn’t want to miss the baseball game.

He shared pictures of his injuries taken as he, in pain, tried to enjoy the Detroit Tigers game.

“The last thing I remember is holding my hand out and it is shaking and I am bleeding down my phone,” Hydes said. “I started thinking it was kind of funny that I should not be at this game. I am bleeding through my shirt, I am bleeding through my pants, and I am at a Tigers game.”

He is known to be stubborn when it comes to baseball. He is the Tigers fan who caught then-Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols 2000th RBI back in 2019 and refused to sell it or trade it to the Tigers security, causing controversy. He told 7 Action News in an interview he would give it to Pujols if asked.

He later donated the ball in honor of his young son who passed away to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He says he thought of his family and how precious life is after the fall.

“It is not just me. Everyone in my neighborhood walks across that bridge. My wife and kids use that bridge,” he said. “That bridge should not have anyone walking on it. When you look at the underside, you can see decades of erosion.”

When the bridge remained open, he called Detroit News reporter George Hunter, who shined light on the danger. The Michigan Department of Transportation says that is when it first learned about the problem.

MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross says she has found no record the department was contacted by local authority.

“We are looking into it, but we have no information at this time,” said Detroit police in a statement.

MDOT now has closed the bridge, saying it was scheduled for inspection this month.

“It is unfortunate somebody happened to be walking on it before we could come out and address the problem,” Cross said.

“Detroit PD should have told somebody or been on the phone saying the bridge is unsafe — it has a gaping hole in it,” Hydes said. 

“I believe that normally, we do have a process for Detroit police contacting us. I don’t know what happened,” Cross said.

“It is definitely a problem that should be addressed,” Hydes said.

MDOT says the bridge was built in 1953. It is not clear what the future of the bridge will be.

Inspectors will determine whether it can be repaired or needs to be torn down. MDOT will consider how much it is used as it determines whether in the long run, it should be replaced if beyond repair.