The Seattle Times

15 of 17
DEAN RUTZ / The Seattle Times

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Pictures of the Year

May 23
First responders look over the collapsed Interstate 5 bridge in Mt. Vernon while rescuers in a hovercraft search for survivors below.
I had just walked into the newsroom when metro editor Cathy McClain read aloud the flash that a bridge crossing the Skagit River in Mt. Vernon had collapsed into the river below. I stood for a moment as the magnitude of the event sank in, then turned around and walked right out the door. All the way I wondered, if I-5 is closed, how will I get to the scene? Photographer Alan Berner and I talked by phone as we both drove north. I knew frontage roads alongside the freeway would help me reach the river, and I studied maps on my iPad to determine where I could get onto them. To my surprise, I reached the river quickly. I scurried up the hill in the last fleeting moments of daylight, and this was what I saw first. I shot just a few frames, then transmitted one back to the newspaper before doing anything else.
— Dean Rutz