HEBER SPRINGS, Ark. – October 28 marks the anniversary of a Heber Springs tragedy that dates back to 1989 when the old Swinging Bridge collapsed and killed multiple people.

Leah Baker was among the many on the bridge as it collapsed into the Little Red River. 

Revisiting the site, Baker approached the bridge one step at a time but wasn’t able to go far and the memories rekindled. 

On October 28, 1989, 5 people were killed and many others were hospitalized when the bridge collapsed.

Among those lost lives Baker’s cousin- 34-year-old Gayla Carlton.

“It totally changed my view. I think as young people when we’re growing up, we think we’re invincible,” Baker said.

She’s now 47 years old. When the bridge fell, she was 14 but the trauma of that day will be engraved forever.

Baker says she “can remember the yelling and chaos and screaming of them trying to find people.”

Several people were on the bridge when it fell. Many were there for a church retreat from Baker’s childhood church in Prim, Arkansas.

Before the collapse, she says she can remember “looking over the bridge and thinking the algae looked horrible and how bad it would be to get mixed up in that and the next thing I knew I was in the water.”

She was one of the lucky ones, only suffering minor injuries but the lasting effects are major. She says this day is still one that haunts those that were there. 

The remaining 4 victims are:

12-year-old Dana Waltman

14-year-old David Warren 

16-year-old Jason Williams 

18-year-old Katrina Cottrell

An article from the associated press states the bridge was 77 years old when it collapsed.

It was built in 1912 and was closed to vehicles in 1972.