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...

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