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Attorneys for Key Bridge collapse survivor and victims' families say crew wasn't warned of Dali's approach

Cassidy Jensen, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

BALTIMORE — Attorneys for the families of two Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse victims and a survivor say workers received “no warning” before the container ship Dali struck the bridge.

L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller of Atlanta-based Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys and Daniel Rose and Kevin Mahoney of Kreindler & Kreindler in New York are representing the families of victims’ Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and José Mynor López as well as survivor Julio Cervantes.

Hernandez Fuentes and Lopez are two of the six construction workers who died after the Dali lost power and collided with the bridge just before 1:30 a.m. March 26, sending the crew into the freezing Patapsco River.

Julio Cervantes, the only member of the Brawner Builders’ crew who survived, escaped by “manually rolling down his window and fighting his way through the freezing water,” the two law firms said in a Monday news release. Cervantes, who cannot swim, was “badly injured” and clung to debris until he was rescued.

The workers were sitting in their vehicles during a break from repairing potholes and received “no warning that the Dali was about to impact the bridge,” according to the firms’ release.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police were able to halt traffic onto the bridge before the collision, an action that officials said likely saved lives.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said that how first responders attempted to warn workers would be part of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the collapse. Moore said that a survivor said he was warned “audibly” to get off the bridge.


A state inspector working for contractor Eborn Enterprises also was able to escape the bridge.

The two firms representing the victims say they are conducting their own investigation into the collapse and are calling “for a thorough investigation into the multiple alleged prior issues with the Dali” before its collision with the Key Bridge, according to the release.

Singapore-based companies Grace Ocean Private Ltd., the ship’s owner, and Synergy Marine Pte Ltd., which manages the Dali, filed a claim together April 1 in Baltimore’s U.S. District Court asking a judge to clear them from liability or limit damages to the value of the ship plus the revenue it stood to make from its cargo, or about $43.7 million. The attorneys representing the victims say they intend to fight that request.

Recovery teams retrieved the bodies of Hernandez and another man March 27 from a pickup truck in the Patapsco. Last week, Hernandez’s family and friends held a visitation for him at a Dundalk church. The bodies of Lopez and two other workers are still missing.

The law firms said in the news release that neither the families of the two victims they represent nor the survivor “are in a place physically, mentally or emotionally to speak publicly about what they have experienced.”


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