In a tragic freak accident in Washington on Monday, an entire family was crushed to death by concrete slab that fell from an overpass. They’ve been identified as youth pastors Josh and Vanessa Ellis, both in their 20s, and their 8-month-old son, Hudson, MYNorthwest reported.
The incident happened at roughly 11 a.m. and initially, authorities believed one person had been crushed by the falling slab. They soon realized the entire family had been killed when the area was cleared for a closer examination, at about 8 p.m.
“The damage was so severe, it was impossible to even tell how many victims were in the vehicle. The only thing we had, we could tell there was one victim,” Police Officer Todd Green told King5.
Construction on the overpass has been ongoing for weeks. The city is adding a new sidewalk for bicyclists and pedestrians, and the project required crews to dismantle a bridge. On Monday, they were on site working on a small part of this bridge, when a section collapsed and a slab of concrete barrier fell.
Sadly, the Ellis family was crossing under the span of the overpass in their truck when the slab fell. They were instantly crushed, the News-Tribune added. Dawn Nelson was riding in a car right behind the family’s truck.
“We were just heading down the street… and I could hear three snaps and down it went on top of the truck. There was nothing anyone could do. It was just surreal.”
Bonney Lake Public Works Director Dan Grigsby told the station that no part of the overpass was scheduled for removal Monday. Otherwise, the road beneath would’ve been closed to keep anyone from being crushed by falling debris.
In fact, during construction, flag men had been out on the road diverting traffic. On Monday, they were not on site, which makes the death of the Ellis family all the more tragic, a nearby resident told King5.
“It just sounded like thunder. I didn’t think much of it when I was in the house… It’s disturbing when it’s that close to home.”