CATASTROPHE: Death in the Appomattox

Lacy McNair, the bridge tender, was the only one who saw it happen, and there was nothing he could do. To let a tug through one morning last week he had just opened the drawbridge over the muddy Appomattox River a mile from Hopewell, Va. when he heard a tearing crash. Twisting, he saw a big Greyhound bus southbound from Richmond skid through the safety gate, plunge with its screaming passengers off the open bridge. Nothing came up from the 24-foot depth but some oil, bubbling and streaking the surface of the yellow river.

During the day the gashed body...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!