Boy whose parents were killed in causeway collapse speaks
Thu, 15 Sep 2011 03:56:55 GMT —
The 10th anniversary of the Queen Isabella Causeway collapse is September 15, 2011.
Eight people were killed as they unknowingly drove into a hole in the bridge, falling to their deaths in the water below.
Among the victims were the parents of a baby boy.
That boy, William Welch, is now a preteen.
He lives just miles from the site where his parents died nearly 10 years ago.
"They're my guardian angels, said Welch.
Welch said he believes his parents are protecting him from above.
Welch is now 12-years-old.
His mom and dad died when he was only two-years-old.
I TMm just glad it didn TMt happen when I was older and got to know them, because that would have been really bad, said Welch.
On September 15th, 2001, Welch's parents plunged to their deaths crossing the Queen Isabella Causeway.
Loaded barges crashed into a causeway support column creating a gaping hole that drivers were unaware of until they reached the top of the bridge.
Then it was too late to stop from falling more than 80 feet to the water.
Barry and Chelsea Welch, William TMs parents, were just two of eight people killed after driving into the gap.
God knows that they needed those angels, said Welch. So I completely understand.
A preteen, Welch said he now understands what happened to his mom and dad.
His grandma, who he calls mom, began explaining the disaster when William started school.
He would see all the other little children. When their mothers came, he would see them say ~mommy, mommy, TM said grandmother Jackie Paddock. Well, one day he came running up to me and said ~mommy, TM and I said ~this is ok. I TMm going to be his mommy now. TM
From time to time, Welch and his grandma said they still share a tear.
He has times that he cries, and he wants his parents back, but that TMs with any child who has lost their parents, said Paddock.
Without his parents, Welch still strives.
He's a good student, an award winning fisherman and accomplished surfer.
"I miss him a lot, but they're surfing in heaven, said Welch. I guarantee you that."
Welch said one day he'll surf in the skies with his parents.
Until then, he'll pray for them every time he crosses the Queen Isabella Causeway.
Welch is also without a brother or sister because of the causeway collapse.
According to his grandma, Welch TMs mom and dad had just found out they were expecting another baby.
They went to the island to celebrate and were killed when crossing the bridge back to Port Isabel.