photo album

Sept. 2001

updated 10/11/01

the gap

How did this happen?

Preliminary investigations have found the channel was adequately maintained and that the tug boat operator was not alcohol-impaired and had not been working an especially long shift. The tug boat company asserts that the channel was mismarked and that essential navigational lights were out at the time of the crash. Five crew members of the tug have been subpoenaed for formal Coast Guard questioning next week.

There has been a fund set up for families of the dead and lost: "The Queen Isabella Victim Relief fund" - Account # 029025, First National Bank of SPI
P.O Box 3640, SPI, TX 78597

back to main page

Early on Sept. 15 a 400-ft barge loaded with steel rammed into the Queen Isabella Causeway, causing a 260-ft gap in the only span connecting South Padre Island to the mainland. Eight of the nine cars that went over have been pulled from the debris, and all of the victims have been recovered.

The people who died were locals and friends and they will be sorely missed.

  • Harpoon Barry Welch, 53 and his wife, Chealsa, 23 of Harpoon Barry's Tattoo Shop
  • Hector Martinez, 32 - head waiter at the Sea Ranch
  • Bob Harris, 46 - Port Isabel Fire Chief who also worked at Louie's
  • Robin Leavell, 29 of Mercedes
  • Stevan Rivas, 22
  • Gaspar S. Hinojosa
  • Julio Mireles, 22, Los Fresnos - Night Manager at the Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort

the gap

question that hasn't been answered here? update or correction to add? e-mail me!

[Features] [Add a Link] [Ask Sandy] [Banner Ads] [Home] [About this Site]

[area attractions] [arts & culture] [beach activities] [classifieds] [cool] [dining out] [event calendar] [ecotourism] [fishing info]
[general info links] [locals directory] [lodging] [news] [nightlife] [organizations] [personal pages] [real estate] [recreation] [services]
[shopping] [spring break] [water sports] [weather/tides] [winter texans]