Baltimore bridge collapse victims’ family members reflect on their loved ones’ lives

Two of the six men presumed dead in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore were remembered by loved ones as devoted husbands, fathers and workers who were simply trying to improve their lot in life.

“He gave us strength for everything,” said Norma Suazo, sister of Maynor Suazo, a member of the construction crew that had been repairing potholes on the bridge when it was struck by a container ship early Tuesday. 

“He fought day after day for our family to get ahead. He looked for a way to make a living,” Norma told Noticias Telemundo on Wednesday in a Spanish-language interview.

Suazo’s brother Fredy described him as good-natured, “smiley, the type of person that always fought for the well being of the family.”

“You come to this country to accomplish your dreams, and sometimes that dream doesn’t get fulfilled,” Fredy Suazo added. “And for a tragedy like this to happen to us, can you imagine?”

Maynor, who was from Honduras, leaves behind an 18-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, according to his brother Carlos Alexis Suazo Sandoval.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday night that six workers are presumed dead in the bridge collapse. Col. Ronald L. Butler Jr., a superintendent with the Maryland State Police, said the search-and-rescue mission had become one of search and recovery. Officials said divers returned to the frigid waters to scour for bodies on Wednesday morning.

María del Carmen Castellón told Telemundo that her husband, Miguel Luna, was one of the workers on the Key Bridge when it tumbled into the Patapsco River. Castellón, also interviewed in Spanish, said she was desperate for news.

“They only tell us that we have to wait, that for now, they can’t give us information,” she said, referring to officials, adding that she and her family were “devastated, devastated because our heart is broken, because we don’t know if they’ve rescued them yet. We’re just waiting to hear any news.”

CASA, a nonprofit organization that provides services to immigrants in the Baltimore area, confirmed that Luna was from El Salvador and had been living in Maryland for more than 19 years. Gustavo Torres, CASA’s executive director, described Luna as “a longtime member of our CASA family, adding an even deeper layer of sorrow to this already grievous situation.”

At least two of the men presumed dead were from Mexico. In a statement, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs said his government plans to provide assistance to their family members, as well as that of a Mexican national who was rescued alive from the wreckage.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said: “We have spoken to the families, prayed with them, and assured them that our state will mobilize every resource to bring them closure.

Suazo’s brother-in-law told Telemundo that Suazo “leaves a very great legacy.”

“He has been a great example for many people,” he said.

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