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September 26, 1989 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-26

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 1989 - Page 5

Winds

halt search

for submerged car

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) -
Four-foot waves and a strong wind
prevented state police divers Monday
from beginning their underwater
search for a car that plunged 170 feet
off the Mackinac Bridge.
State police said they still don't
know who was inside the light blue
subcompact car that witnesses Friday
evening saw careen off the bridge and
into the chilly Straits of Mackinac.
Three days of {strong winds
through the straits between lakes
Michigan and Huron have stymied
any extensive search of the deep wa-
ter. The occupants of the missing car
are presumed dead.
The vehicle, the first car to tum-
ble off the bridge, went over a 3 1/2
foot guardrail.
Mackinac Bridge Authority offi-
cials say the rail met federal safety
requirements when the bridge was
built in 1957, but those require-
ments since have been changed to de-
flect out-of-control vehicle back onto
the road. .
Bridge Authority Superintendent
Walter North said yesterday the
bridge's 32-year-old guardrails are
safe.
Extensive scraping of the
guardrail and bridgework indicate the
vehicle went over the side at close to
a right angle, North said.
"I suspect if it was a real severe
angle you could have this on any
type of barrier," he said.
Until the accident, North said, he

never believed a small car could clear
the bridge railing. "It wasn't a pos-
sibility," he said.
North said he believed the car was
on the inside lane to pass a vehicle
and apparently veered too sharply as
it moved back into the outside lane.
He disputed an earlier Coast
Guard official's statement that high
winds could have forced the car off
the bridge. The wind was blowing
between 35 and 40 mph at the time
of the accident.
"We've never had a vehicle blow
off the bridge, including Friday
night," North said. "It appears it was
a freak accident."
A state police report of the acci-
dent will be turned over to the bridge
authority for review, North said.
Sgt. Kenneth Hardy of the State
Police post at St. Ignace said officers
have taken about 100 calls from
people who haven't heard from
friends or relatives traveling through
the area. He said one call fit all con-
ditions of the accident, but Hardy de-
clined to elaborate.
North said the accident did not
appear to shake confidence in the 5-
mile long suspension bridge. He said
11,600 vehicles crossed the bridge
Saturday, more than from the sane
day last year, and 13,000 vehicles
drove across Sunday.
"It doesn't look like it's had an
impact and rightfully so, because
there was no structural damage tothp
bridge," North said.=-

Nominated Again
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, holding flag, and his Vice Presidential
parade through Managua Monday after the two men were picked to be the

/Associated Pres

running mate Sergio Ramirez, right, wave to followers during a
ruling Sandinista party's candidates.

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ACNE AND ECZEMA
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The University of Michigan Department
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Tuesday. September 26. 7:30p.m.- Wesley Foundation
(Methodist Church - corner State and Huron)
PALESTINIAN POLITICAL PRISONER
and Human Rights Worker
TERRY BOUIATTA
* Released from prison after urgent appeals from Mme.Francios
Mitterrand and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
* Currently in the U.S. for medical treatment
* Imprisoned for 3 months and 6 days; Reason: Inciting youth for the
Intifada
* Field worker for the Palestinian Human Rights Committee
* Member, Palestinian Federation of Women's Action Committees "
* Member Bir Zest University student council when first arrested
Terry Boulatta is a 22 year-old Palestinian woman from Beit Hanina. Jerusalem. She
is a human rights field worker at the Palestine Human Rights Information Center, the
Jerusalem headquarters of the Database Project on Palestinian Human Rights. The
Center is a sub-unit of the Arab Studies Society, which is headed by Faisal Husseln.
Terry is very ill with an as yet undiagnosed liver ailment. Her attempts to receive
proper medical diagnosis and treatment have been continually hampered by her
arrest and detention by the Israeli military authorities. She is currently in the United
States for medical treatment.
Middle East Task Force-Interfaith Council; Ethics and Religion

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