FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2002
AUSTIN, TX - Today state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) filed Senate Bill 139 to rename the Queen Isabella Causeway the Queen Isabella Memorial Bridge.
"It is a fitting tribute to rename the bridge in memory of the innocent people who lost their lives on September 15 when the bridge collapsed after it was struck by a string of barges," said Sen. Lucio.
A total of eight people were killed.
"The memories of those lost in this tragic accident should be preserved with honor. Changing the causeway's name is a fitting and noble gesture to ensure that the families affected by this tragedy are properly honored by the people of Texas," said state Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville).
Sen. Lucio added, "This is a tragedy that impacted our local community and our entire state as a whole. We miss those special people who embody everything good about South Texas. They lived and worked here. They were our friends and neighbors and contributors to our society. This is a fitting reminder." During the legislative session, Sen. Lucio also plans to invite not only the family and loved ones of the deceased, but also all those "heroes" who helped with the rescue and recover efforts, as well as those who assisted the stranded visitors, the displaced workers and the businesses heavily impacted by the sudden closure of the causeway.
"Although the legislation will honor those who lost their lives and their families, it will also stand as a tribute to those who acted in such a selfless and valiant manner. I plan to honor our law enforcement officers, members of the Coast Guard and Navy, and just everyday people who went above and beyond the call of duty for their neighbors," noted the Senator, who plans to invite them to the Capitol during the 78th Legislature. "There are so many to thank and honor, especially the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of Transportation, as well as other state, federal, county and local officials and agencies. They all came together for a common cause."
The deceased are:
Robert "Bob" Harris
Giaspar Saenz Hinojosa
Hector Martinez, Jr.
Stvan Francisco Rivas
Chealsa and Barry Welch