The stories behind the six dead in the CRF bridge collapse


Winsome Brown originally planned to go on vacation on Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of her husband’s death.

But she postponed her appointment when her lawyers informed her that Florida International University would hold a ceremony that day to honor her husband, Navaro Brown, and the five other people who were killed after a span of The 174-foot, 950-ton CRF’s unfinished pedestrian bridge over Southwest Eighth Street collapsed on March 15, 2018.

“It was very important to me to be there,” she said. “It was my first time since the bridge collapsed, so I think it was time for me to go. But it was very hard. Everything came back to me, lots of memories.

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Winsome Brown, wife of Navaro Brown, center, and Marvaline Wong visit the Alexa M. Duran Memorial at Florida International University in Miami, Fla. Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the fourth anniversary of the collapse from the CRF bridge. Navaro Brown was one of six people killed when a pedestrian bridge, still in progress, collapsed on March 15, 2018. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

FIU on Tuesday unveiled a bronze sculpture of Alexa Duran, the only FIU student killed in the disaster. The memorial includes five lampposts representing the other five people who died: Brown, Alberto Arias, Brandon Brownfield, Rolando Fraga Hernandez and Osvaldo Gonzalez.

FIU spokeswoman Maydel Santana said the university had invited family members of all the victims to the event, but university staff were unsure if anyone else was present.

A native of Mocho, Jamaica, Navaro was 34 and worked for Structural Technologies VSL, one of the companies involved in building the bridge. Winsome said authorities told him Navaro died in hospital.

It was Brown’s first day on the bridge, transferring the day before from another job in Orlando. Brown was on top of the bridge when it collapsed.

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Winsome Campbell lost her husband, Navaro ‘Blaze’ Brown, in the CRF bridge collapse on March 15, 2018. Brown worked at Structural Technologies, a company that provides products to strengthen bridges. It was Brown’s first day on the bridge after being transferred the day before from another job in Orlando. Brown was on top of the bridge when it collapsed. Emilie Michot [email protected]

Winsome and Navaro had been married since 2010, but never had children. His absence hasn’t been any easier despite the passing of time, Winsome said: “It doesn’t matter what you do. The pain never goes away.”

It’s especially difficult on days like the anniversary of his death and his birthday. But she’s glad she spent Tuesday at the main CRF campus in West Miami-Dade looking at the memorial, which she said she enjoyed and loved.

“He was funny,” she said, remembering him with a chuckle. “He was very supportive. He took very good care of me. He was also very dedicated to his work. »

“It’s very sad that he had to leave so soon,” she added.

Five more people killed in bridge collapse

Brandon Brownfield

Brandon Brownfield, who worked as a crane technician for Maxim Crane Works, left three daughters, aged 10 months to 5 years old at the time.

His wife, Chelsea Brownfield, posted about him on her Facebook page on September 19, the day he would have turned 42: Just yesterday I was calling you crazy,” she wrote.

She shared two photos of him – one of him holding a drink and another of a screenshot of a conversation between them in which she called him “crazy” because he sent a selfie wearing a helmet and standing on a beam 430 feet above the ground.

Alexa Duran

Alexa Duran was an 18-year-old FIU freshman when the bridge collapsed as she waited for a red light at the intersection of Southwest Eighth Street and 109th Avenue, where the bridge was being construction.

She had borrowed her father’s Toyota 4Runner and was heading east on the Tamiami Trail when steel and concrete fell, crushing her to death as she sat behind the wheel waiting for the light to turn.

The 7ft bronze sculpture of her, commissioned by the FIU and created by artist Brian Hanlon, stands in a new plaza near the Green Library.

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Orlando Duran, father of Alexa Duran, touches a bronze statue of his daughter during the dedication of the memorial at Florida International University in Miami on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the fourth anniversary of the bridge collapse of the FRC. The bronze statue, made by Brian Hanlon, aims to honor the memory of FIU student Alexa Duran and the five other people who were killed in an ongoing pedestrian bridge collapse on 15 March 2018. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

Osvaldo Gonzalez and Alberto Arias

Osvaldo González, known as Ozzie, and Alberto Arias – two Cuban businessmen and life partners – died inside their white Chevy truck as they drove under the overpass.

Together they owned Classic Design Party Rental and planned a trip to Cuba before they perished. They had been life partners for over 20 years.

Rescuers pulled Arias, 53, and González, 57, from under nearly 1,000 tons of concrete and steel two days after the bridge fell.

Rolando Fraga Hernandez

A native of San Jose de las Lajas, Havana, Cuba, Rolando Fraga Hernandez, 60, lived in Miami with his wife, Ana Maria Oviedo Garcia, and 15-year-old son, the Herald reported in 2018. He was a technician system at ITG Communications.

A day before his death, he shared a Spanish quote on his Facebook page: “Nothing is forever. Coffee gets cold, people leave, time passes and people change.

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Here are the six victims of a pedestrian bridge collapse under construction by Florida International University on March 15, 2018: top row, left to right: Alberto Arias, Navaro Brown, Alexa Duran; bottom row, left to right: Rolando Fraga Hernandez, Osvaldo Gonzalez and Brandon Brownfield. Facebook

This story was originally published March 15, 2022 7:45 p.m.

Jimena Tavel covers higher education for the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. She is a bilingual journalist with triple nationality: Honduran, Cuban and Costa Rican. Born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, she moved to Florida when she was 17. She earned her journalism degree from the University of Florida in 2018 and joined the Herald shortly after.

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