Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Couple injured in Fern Hollow Bridge collapse plan to sue

Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA

A couple injured while driving over the Fern Hollow Bridge when it collapsed plan to take legal action.

Lawyers for Velva and Tyrone Perry sent notices of intent to sue to the City of Pittsburgh, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and PennDOT on Thursday.

“The collapse was a complete failure of governmental responsibility for public safety and to the Perrys,” said Paul Ellis, one of the lawyers representing the couple.

According to Ellis, the Perrys not only suffered from shattered vertebrae and other serious medical issues, but they are also dealing with psychological damage.

“Their lives and the lives of their family members have been significantly altered. It’s a miracle that no one was killed, but they’ll never be the same again — at least not 100%,” he said. “Even after they fell, they had to endure vehicles hurdling towards them and hoping and praying for their lives.”

Ellis said the lawyers are conducting their own investigation of the collapse and have hired structural engineers to look into potential causes.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the bridge experienced a structural failure that started on the western side.

The City of Pittsburgh and Port Authority said they do not comment on pending litigation. A spokesperson for PennDOT said they had not yet received an intent to sue, but that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Ellis did not provide a timeline for when they may file the lawsuit.

Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at