A Chicago woman was killed after her husband followed their car’s GPS navigation off a partially demolished bridge that has been closed since 2009, according to reports.
Zohra Hussain, 51, died after their Nissan Sentra fell more than 37 feet off the old bridge and burst into flames. She was unable to escape, the Lake County coroner’s office said, according to the Times of Northwest Indiana.
Her husband, Iftikhar Hussain, 64, survived the fall and managed to escape the couple’s car, according to the Times, which reported that he was hospitalized in stable condition in nearby Gary, Ind.
Authorities are trying to understand what prompted the couple to drive onto the bridge past barricades and warnings, though officials believe the couple was likely on the way to visit family and that they were unfamiliar with the area, the Times reported.
“The Cline Avenue bridge is marked with numerous barricades including orange barrels and cones, large wood signs stating ROAD CLOSED with orange striped markings,” Lake County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Patricia Van Til told the Times. “There are concrete barricades across the road to further indicate that the road is closed.”
The Northwest Indiana Gazette reported that a concrete barrier that blocked off the bridge had been moved, though the Gazette said it was unclear whether the barrier was moved before or after the fatal crash.
The bridge was closed after decades of “heavy semi-trucks hauling steel coil out of the Indiana Harbor steel mills caused it to deteriorate,” the Times reported.
In 2010, the Times added, the Indiana Department of Transportation condemned the structure.
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