Bridge Collapse Witness Struggles To Move On

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As the clean-up and recovery effort continues in Minnesota, some of those who witnessed the event and live nearby are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

Chippewa Falls native Courtney Dahl was among them. She lives and works close-by the I-35 bridge.

On Wednesday she was headed the twins game, ready for a night of fun never expecting to witness a moment she says she'll never forget.

It began like any other day.

"I looked over and it's rush hour, it's like 6 O'clock and wall to wall traffic," Dahl said.

But as Dahl drove along University bridge, what she saw underneath was shocking. The grid-locked traffic below was disappearing, cars were falling and the bridge she passes over several times a day was collapsing.

"I felt like I was in a movie, I, I mean they were just going left and right, I didn't know what to do," she said.

Despite her training as an emergency responder, she was forced to watch the scene from the bridge above, unable to reach those in need a mere 200 yards away.

"It was really hard for me to watch from up above and see all this happening and not be able to do anything about it and help these people out," Dahl said.

She says though there has been an outpouring of support and incredible generosity from volunteers and local businesses to the families and area affected, it will be some time before the chaos ends and healing begins.

"Every time I go over I'm going to picture what I saw and it's just very hard to deal with it because it's something you see on TV but it's never something you'll see in real life," Dahl said.

She says even days later the area where she works is still filled with police, emergency responders and the families of those affected.

Dahl says she returned to Chippewa Falls to escape the sirens and chaos, but will be back to work on Monday, hoping to do all she can to help.