Construction worker among the victims of the Florida bridge collapse

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- A 37-year-old construction worker is among the victims of the Florida bridge collapse that killed at least six people on Thursday.

Navaro Brown was one of three workers from VSL Structural Technologies working at the bridge when the massive structure crumbled to the busy Miami street below, spokesman Mike Biesiada told ABC News.

Brown was killed, and his two colleagues are in the hospital, Biesiada said.

VSL Structural Technologies is a concrete support supplier and installer whose product was used during construction, Biesiada said.

The bridge was erected last weekend and was touted by Florida International University as the first of its kind. It stretched over Southwest 8th Street on the campus at 109th Street, a busy intersection where a student was killed last year while crossing the street.

Two members of the Sweetwater Police Department who were among the first to arrive at the scene said they found four unconscious construction workers in the rubble and attempted to revive them, they told ABC News.

Sgt. Adrian Mesa and Sgt. Jenna Mendez said they used backboards to pull the workers off the bridge.

It is unclear if the VSL employees were among those workers.

The death toll may rise as responders work to sift through the wreckage and potentially find more victims inside crushed vehicles, officials said on Friday.

"The engineers are working at it in a very tactical way," Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said in a press conference. "The structure is fragile and could be dangerous to rescue personnel."

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.

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Worker hurt in bridge collapse thinks locking in harness saved his life, cousin says

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- When a worker at the newly installed bridge near Florida International University heard cracking, he immediately locked in his harness -- an action he thinks saved his life, according to his cousin.

Carlos Chapman, who was injured when the bridge collapsed Thursday, is "being very repetitive and doesn’t remember much of what happened," his cousin, Jayleen Gutierrez, told ABC News on Friday.

"All he really remembers is hearing a cracking noise and immediately locking in his harness," she said. "Seconds after that, he fell. He said if it weren’t for that harness, he would have easily died."

Chapman suffered a shoulder fracture and underwent surgery on his nose, mouth and eye, Gutierrez said.

"He is still in disbelief and is in denial about what happened," Gutierrez said. "However, he will be OK. We are all praying for him, and glad he is still here with us."

Six people were killed and many others injured when the bridge crumbled, trapping cars beneath it.

Florida International University had touted the bridge as one of the first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place Saturday.

The cause of the collapse remains under investigation.

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Newly released video captures gunman's rampage at Pulse nightclub

Released by U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida(ORLANDO) -- Newly released surveillance footage captures the massacre at Pulse nightclub before the gunman was eventually killed by police.

The footage is a compilation of different videos collected at the scene, including surveillance footage from inside the Orlando club, outside the club and from cellphone video shot by people inside at the time of the shooting on that fateful night in June 2016.

The footage was released Friday as part of the trial for Mateen's wife, Noor Salman.

Salman faces charges of obstructing justice, and aiding and abetting her husband's attack, which was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, with 49 people killed. She has pleaded not guilty.

The video is a chronological compilation of the evening, starting off with Mateen arriving at the club and looking inside the room with a dance floor. He leaves shortly after and then returns. He is shown holding a rifle and appearing to fire as he walks into the club’s entryway.

The crowd of people who had been dancing then quickly drops to the ground as he fires at the crowd.

The chilling security camera footage is black and white, and does not have sound. As the room clears out, victims can be seen strewn across the floor. The victims' bodies have been blurred, though viewers are still able to see some of them moving while others are laying still on the ground.

Mateen then leaves the room with the dance floor and goes to smaller side rooms where others are hiding.

At one point, he comes back into the room with the dance floor, with bodies scattered everywhere, and is seen reloading his rifle.

He then fires at some of the people lying on the ground, appearing to specifically target those who seem to be moving.

Another video included in the package shown in court was filmed on a cellphone and does have sound. Scared clubgoers urge one another to stay quiet. At another point, repeated bursts of shots can be heard.

Armed first responders are shown entering the club, appearing to search through the club for the shooter. One officer is seen dragging people from the floor out of the camera’s view. It is unclear from the footage if they are alive or dead.

The footage extends through the hostage situation, in which Mateen took hostages in two of the club’s bathrooms. Exterior surveillance footage shows the armored vehicle that police used to ram a hole in one of the club’s walls, which led to a showdown between Mateen and officers, during which Mateen was killed.

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Fourth nor'easter this month could hit Northeast next week

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Spring is finally here next week -- but Mother Nature may not be done battering the Northeast with rain, snow and wind.

Another nor'easter -- the fourth storm this month -- could slam into the region just as the season is about to change.

The storm is moving slowly from the Rockies and could bring severe weather to the central and southern U.S. on Monday.

That could mean more snow for the Northern Plains.

By Wednesday or Thursday, the I-95 corridor could see the worst of the storm.

Two weather models have the storm system barreling north on different tracks.

A European forecast said heavy snow is possible more inland from West Virginia to upstate New York, while the American model said the storm will be more coastal -- slamming into New Jersey, Long Island and perhaps New York City.

If the latter model proves true, Washington, D.C., will be mostly spared.

Meanwhile, a mudslide in Malibu, California, Thursday morning closed down a road, potentially for several more days.

Storms also brought as much as 16 inches of snow to the Sierra Nevada Mountains over the last 24 hours.

Snow and high-wind alerts have been issued in 18 states from California all the way to West Virginia.

With two storm systems looming, the first of those on Friday morning is stretching all the way from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Plains, bringing showers and thunderstorms to the south and more heavy snow in the north.

By Friday afternoon and evening, showers and severe storms are expected from Missouri to Louisiana. Some of the rainstorms may contain damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes are possible.

Up north, snowfall will spread from the Dakotas into Iowa.

By Saturday, that storm system will weaken but still bring mixed precipitation from Illinois to West Virginia. The Southeast may see some stronger storms as well.

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Two firms involved in building Florida bridge that collapsed had past accusations of unsafe practices

@GabrielaRose12/Twitter(MIAMI) -- At least two firms involved in the construction of a pedestrian bridge that collapsed at Florida International University, killing 6 people, have previously been accused of unsafe practices that resulted in people being injured, documents show.

Figg Bridge Engineers, the firm that designed the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge in Miami, was also involved in the construction of a bridge in Virginia of which a 90-ton section collapsed in 2012 while it was under construction, according to the Virginian Pilot. The bridge, which was being built over a river between Chesapeake and Portsmouth, Virginia, collapsed onto railroad tracks below, causing minor injuries to workers, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry confirmed to ABC News.

The state cited the firm for not properly inspecting a girder for the bridge and had not obtained written consent from the manufacturer before modifying it, the Pilot reported.

Jay Withrow, director of the legal support division for Virginia’s state labor department, said his agency was not alleging that the behavior covered by the citation contributed to the failure of the equipment in the bridge collapse, according to the Pilot.

"Trying to figure out what failed in what sequence is difficult," Withrow said. "We're not saying one way or another whether [the alleged violations] had anything to do with the accident at this point."

Figg's project manager, W. Jay Rohleder, released a written statement stressing that the incident had no bearing on the stability of the bridge, the Pilot reported.

"The incident that occurred during construction was a construction equipment property damage issue that had nothing to do with the final bridge," Rohleder said. "The proposed citation is not related to the structural integrity of the completed project in any way and is not the reason the erection truss required replacing."

Virginia slapped the firm with a $28,000 fine, which was reduced to $9,800 through negotiations, according to OSHA documents.

Another company involved in the building of the Florida International University bridge, Munilla Construction Management, has also had at least one prior allegation connected to its work.

The company, based in Miami, was sued earlier this month by a federal Transportation Security Administration officer at Fort Lauderdale International Airport who alleges that a temporary bridge walkway put up by Munilla to allow airport workers to access restrooms during construction collapsed beneath him, resulting in severe injuries, according to the TSA officer's lawyer and his lawsuit.

The construction firm has not yet responded to the lawsuit in court.
ABC News reached out to Munilla and Figg Bridge Engineers, but both companies have yet to respond beyond public statements released about the Miami bridge collapse.

“We are all devastated and doing everything we can to assist. We will conduct a full investigation to determine exactly what went wrong,” Munilla said in a statement.

Figg said in its statement that it will “fully cooperate with every appropriate authority” and that “in our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before.”

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Missing teenager may have flown to Cancun with 45-year-old man, police say

Allentown Police Department(ALLENTOWN, Pa.) -- A missing 16-year-old girl from Pennsylvania is believed to have flown to Cancun, Mexico, with a 45-year-old man around the time her mother was reporting her missing, police said.

Kevin Esterly and Amy Yu, 16, have been missing since March 5, and police believe the teen left with the man willingly.

When Yu did not return home from school that night, her mother reported her missing, the Allentown Police Department said Friday.

Two days later, police received information indicating that, on the night of March 5, Yu and Esterly took one-way flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Cancun, connecting through the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, police said.

An Amber Alert has been issued in Mexico for Yu.

"Prior to the Amber Alert in Mexico, the information that Amy Yu and Kevin Esterly were likely in Mexico was not released, as it is believed that Kevin Esterly and/or Amy Yu are monitoring media reports," police said in a news release on Friday.

Yu's mother, brother, friends and classmates miss her and want her to return home safely, police said Friday.

"Amy, if you are uncertain how to come home or who to contact for help, you may simply reach out to a law enforcement official, a resort staff member -- or contact your mom via text message, email or social media, and we will work to reunite you with your family right away," police said.

Esterly, who is married, met the teen at church, and Yu appears to have been friends with one of Esterly's daughters, according to Gary Hammer of the Colonial Regional Police, which has jurisdiction over Yu's school, Lehigh Valley Academy.

When Yu was asked by members of the Leigh Country Child Advocacy Center whether she was having a relationship with Esterly, she denied it, Hammer said.

However, Yu altered her school records and listed Esterly as her stepfather, Hammer added. And at least 10 times between December and Feb. 9, Esterly signed her out of school early, he said.

Feb. 9 was the final day because that's when Yu's mother came to the school to pick up her daughter, and the school said "her stepfather already signed her out of school," Hammer told ABC News last week.

Lehigh Valley Academy confirmed that Esterly has been on school grounds before and was last there on Feb. 9.

"After that date, due to circumstances we cannot disclose pursuant to student privacy constraints, he was prohibited from entering school grounds, and the police were to be notified if he returned," the school said in a statement.

The school said in its statement, "Due to federal and state privacy constraints, the school is prohibited from releasing any additional information about the student or the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation unless the parent provides express consent for the school to do so.

"We are, however, working closely with the Colonial Regional Police and the Allentown Police, and are providing whatever information and assistance we can to assist them and Amy’s family during this difficult time."

"The mom explained she is a single mother," Hammer said. "There is no stepfather."

The school called the Colonial Regional Police immediately, and it started investigating. The department found video of Esterly signing the teen out and leaving with her, Hammer said.

On March 7, a family member of Esterly reported him as missing/endangered, and that same day, an arrest warrant for Esterly was obtained, charging him with interference with the custody of children, the police said.

Yu is about 4 feet, 11 inches tall and 90 pounds, while Esterly is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 185 pounds, according to police.

Authorities believe they may be driving a 1999 red, two-door Honda Accord with the Pennsylvania plate KLT0529.

Anyone who sees either of them is asked to call 911, local police or the Allentown Police at 610-437-7751.

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Mom defends controversial Facebook post about letting her 5-year-old daughter 'struggle'

Lauren Lodder/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- Most parents likely hate to watch their children struggle. But what if letting them do so is the loving choice?

That's the center of the controversy surrounding one woman's Facebook post about letting her 5-year-old daughter "struggle."

Texas mom Lauren Lodder wrote in the viral post, "Her small hands fumbled over long, white laces. A loose bow dangled limply over the side. 'This shoe is bad!' she yelled, smacking it with her hand. 'You just do it!' she said. 'No, it’s your shoe,' I responded. She sighed and complained. I let her struggle."

She details a timeline of the day -- from waking up to bedtime -- when her daughter wants her to help complete a challenging task but the mom wrote that she refused.

"Our children won’t be living with us forever; we won’t always be there to fix their problems, help them avoid mistakes or tie their shoes and, even if we could, we shouldn’t," she wrote.
Lodder told "Good Morning America" in regards to her Facebook post:

"I wasn't expecting my post to be so controversial, but it seems some parents disagree with my parenting style. I suspect it was my use of the word 'struggle.' For some, it seems to have a negative connotation. When I say my daughter 'struggled,' I mean she was challenged. She had to put some effort into her work. She makes mistakes and learns from them."
The former college professor of writing and literature told "GMA" every semester there would be a handful of parents emailing her on behalf of their adult child, asking for a better grade or an extension.

"I understand these parents were trying to help. But what they were actually doing is preventing their kids from having important and necessary learning experiences -- learning experiences that should have started a long time ago," she explained. "By the time my daughter reaches college, I want her to know that I will continue to support her and love her in every way, but her accomplishments are her accomplishments and her failures are her failures and she needs to own them."

Lodder thinks the problem is that parents fear if their child doesn't pick something up immediately that it will hurt their self-confidence. While Lodder said she understands that no parent wants to see their child defeated, she added, "so much learning takes places during the struggle, during the trial-and-error period."

When it comes to her own kids -- in addition to her 5-year-old daughter, Lodder also has a 4-year-old daughter -- she has always had this parenting style. "When they were babies, I didn't pick them up every time they plopped on their butts or dropped their binkies. I let them learn to rely on their own capable bodies," she explained.

And she thinks it's paying off. "I see this independence, self-confidence in everything my daughter does," she told "GMA." "If she can't reach something, she doesn't scream at me to come get it. Instead, she problem-solves -- she grabs a chair or climbs on the counter. If she makes a mistake, she doesn't beat herself up, she tries again, and again, and again until she nails it. For her, the accomplishment is the reward."

She went on to add, "I am always there for my children. I will always be there to show them the way, but I won't do their work for them."

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Boulder thrown from overpass kills young man in car with his family

@CHPAltadena/Twitter(PASADENA, Calif.) -- A distraught and pregnant Southern California widow is asking for the public's help in finding the person who police say intentionally threw a 35-pound boulder from an overpass onto a freeway, killing her husband.

"If anybody saw anything, please help us," Guadalupe Gutierrez said through tears at a press conference Thursday, two days after the death of her husband, 23-year-old Christopher Lopez.

Gutierrez said she learned she was pregnant a few weeks ago.

"My daughter was so excited to be a big sister," she said, weeping.
Ohio teens now charged with murder for allegedly killing motorist with sandbag dropped from overpass

On Tuesday night, Gutierrez was driving home with Lopez, her mother and her 4-year-old daughter on the 134 Freeway in Pasadena, the California Highway Patrol said.

As they drove under the Orange Grove Boulevard overpass, a 35-pound boulder suddenly hit their car, went through the windshield and struck Lopez who was sitting in the front passenger seat, the highway patrol said.

Gutierrez drove him to a hospital where he later died, authorities said.
Lopez's sister, Jennifer Lopez, was also overcome with emotion at the news conference.

"I'm asking everyone to help find the person who did this to him," she said.
The highway patrol called this an "intentional act" by a "careless person or persons."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has possible information about the person or persons who threw the boulder is urged to call the highway patrol at 626-296-8100.

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US Army veteran is fighting deportation after getting denied citizenship

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan is in danger of being deported after his application for citizenship was denied.

Miguel Perez Jr., a native of Mexico, came to the United States legally when he was 8. He grew up in Chicago as a legal permanent resident and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan prior to being discharged from the Army in 2010 with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago.

That same year, after he was discharged from the Army, Perez was convicted on a felony drug charge, for which he served about seven years in prison. After he got out, ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency took him into custody. An ICE spokesperson said Perez was targeted for removal after the conviction, WLS reported.

A judge ruled last that Perez should be deported, WLS reported. Perez and his family appealed to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for a pardon to wipe away the conviction that sparked the deportation proceedings.
Rauner in Feburary denied that request, and this month a judge refused Perez's request to overturn the deportation order.

"I went and talked to Miguel and gave him the bad news," the veteran's attorney, Chris Bergin, told WLS. "He was disappointed, obviously, but he said 'I'm not giving up, we're gonna keep fighting,' and I was glad to hear that because that's what I said too."

The attorney is appealing the court ruling, WLS reported. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, has written a letter on Perez's behalf, according to WLS.

Perez remains in ICE custody.

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Florida bridge collapse death toll likely to rise as investigators sift through rubble, police say

GabrielaRose12/TwitterThe death toll from the collapse of a brand-new pedestrian bridge near Florida International University has risen to six, including a student at the school, authorities said Friday.

Officials believe the number of dead may rise as investigators sift through the rubble after the search and rescue efforts were called off last night.

"There is the sad possibility that under the concrete there may be additional vehicles," Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said at a news conference Friday. "The engineers are working at it in a very tactical way. The structure is fragile and could be dangerous to rescue personnel."

Here is what we know about the deadly collapse:

-- The cause remains under investigation.

-- FIU President Mark Rosenberg said Friday on "Good Morning America" that the "project has been done as every other project at FIU in terms of construction. ... We only work with certified contractors that have been approved by all the appropriate authorities."

 -- "We're shocked and we're going to cooperate fully," Rosenberg said. "We've got to get to the bottom of this and we will."

-- The newly installed bridge, hailed as an engineering marvel, collapsed about 1:30 p.m. Thursday and immediately trapped at least eight vehicles, authorities said.

-- One woman who barely avoided the collapse said she saw the structure crumble "in front of me, and it fell on the cars that were waiting for the light to change."

-- "I was near the light. I was the first car that moved forward when it changed and I was near the bridge. It was fine, and all of a sudden, I saw it collapse from the left towards the middle," Suzy Bermudez told reporters Thursday. "I ran to see if we could help but the only thing we could see were the car lights in the front, totally smashed, almost to the ground."

-- Ten victims were transported to Kendall Medical and labeled as level-one trauma patients, Dr. Mark McKenney, the hospital's program director, said Thursday. They ranged in age from 20 to 50. Eight others were admitted with broken bones and bruises. Additional patients may have been admitted to other facilities.

-- Joining local authorities on the scene are officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and FBI. In addition to ensuring the safety of those digging through the rubble, efforts are slowed because "we don't want to rush it and damage any evidence," Zabaleta said. "That bridge, whatever's left of it, is very, very unstable."

-- FIU had touted the bridge as one of the first of its kind, tweeting that it swung into place Saturday.

-- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted Thursday that the cables that suspended the bridge "had loosened & the engineering firm ordered that they be tightened. They were being tightened when it collapsed."

-- Rubio, who described the incident as "troubling and tragic," said the bridge was constructed for safety after a student died last year crossing that intersection.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more information.

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