Reporting Rachel Slavik
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – It will be a couple of days before a section of parking ramp reopens at the Mall of America.
An overhead beam fell last night when a U-Haul truck hit it while driving past. It happened on the north side of the west ramp near Nordstrom’s.
The 52-year-old driver died. His wife and daughter were in the vehicle but able to escape.
Access to one section of the west parking ramp was off limits is off-limits Saturday, as the mall brought in two engineering teams to make sure the ramp is safe.
Police believe the vehicle was too tall and hit the overhang as it passed by. Anthony Stands was one of several who tried to help the 52-year-old driver who was pinned in his vehicle.
“We heard a crushing noise went up the stairs saw I don’t know what it was collapsed on the truck,” said Sands.
He attempted to comfort the river in his final moments.
“He asked me to pull his seat back, and I said I couldn’t put his seat back…it would crush his ribs more,” said Sands.
The damage was too extensive, and the driver didn’t make it.
“He grabbed my hand and started holding my hand, asked me to stay here with him. And he was like ‘Do you have any kids?’ ‘Yeah I have two kids,’” he said.
By Saturday morning, the concrete and vehicle were gone.
Engineering teams were on-site checking to see if the impact of the fall caused more significant damage to the ramp.
Crews will have to reinforce a small portion overhead where the concrete broke off, but the mall says the ramp is safe for drivers.