Kansas University freshman basketball player Cole Aldrich and his loved ones were safe and sound in their hometown of Bloomington, Minn., Wednesday night - about 20 miles from the bridge that collapsed on I-35 and sent cars tumbling into the Mississippi River.
"Everyone is alive and well," reported Walter Aldrich, father of Cole, who as of 9 p.m. Wednesday had not heard of any friends or family involved in the tragedy. "All we heard is the bridge collapsed. We're watching it on TV like everybody else."
Walter Aldrich is a construction worker who has traveled over the bridge "many times."
"I am a volunteer fireman," he reported, "but I haven't received any calls to go out there. From what I can see they have plenty of trucks out there, and I'm not needed."
He was hoping traffic over the bridge was less heavy than normal at the time of the collapse.
"I'm hoping a lot of people took alternate routes because of the construction out there," he said. "It's a very serious situation."
The bottom line?
"Tell everybody we are fine," Aldrich concluded.