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One of the last drivers to make it off Baltimore bridge did not hear crash because of loud radio

One of the last drivers to make it off Baltimore bridge did not hear crash because of loud radio

A Baltimore baker who drove over the Francis Scott Key Bridge seconds before its collapse, says he had been blissfully unaware of the catastrophe until receiving a call from a panicked co-worker.

Larry Desantis told the Baltimore Banner that despite being in the immediate vicinity he had not heard the container ship collide with the bridge because he had been playing his car radio loudly.

Mr Desantis, head baker at Herman’s Bakery in Dundalk, had been travelling on his regular commute in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

According to the Banner, he had made it off the bridge around 1:27am. About a minute later, at around 1.29am the bridge collapsed.

The only thing that had seemed suspicious to Mr Desantis had been the lack of cars around him.

At around 1.29am on Tuesday the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed (Getty Images)
At around 1.29am on Tuesday the Francis Scott Key bridge collapsed (Getty Images)

“I didn’t even know anything was going on, but it was just really eerie when I got off of the bridge and there was nothing [behind me],” Mr Desantis told the Banner.

“Because with Amazon there, I’ll see 20 Amazon trucks every morning. I don’t care what day of the week it is. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing.”

He added: “I think about it, I might not be here now if I had been just a little bit later...Just a minute would’ve changed everything. It’s scary, you know.”

Mr Desantis said that later he had gotten a call from a detective from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police to make sure he was safe, though he was not sure how his car registration was obtained.

“They just wanted to know how many people they had to look for. That’s what he told me,” he said.

Despite his brush with death, Mr Desantis has gone to work each day since the bridge collapse, at Herman’s Bakery in Dundalk.

Now, his commute on an alternative route takes close to an hour, whereas before it was 20 minutes, he told the Banner.

Authorities survey damage of Francis Scott Key bridge collapse (Viral Press)
Authorities survey damage of Francis Scott Key bridge collapse (Viral Press)

Mr Desantis’ colleague and long-time friend, Deborah Allen, said she had woken up in a panic at around 4am. She knew his commute route and timing.

“I knew that’s what time he was coming,” Ms Allen told the Banner. “I knew he’d be crossing, and I panicked.”

She called her other colleague, Adrienne Porcella, several times, only to get voicemail, later getting through to her mother.

She finally confirmed that Mr Desantis was safe, and had clocked in for work at 1:43am.

Ms Allen can count the number of times she’s driven over the Key bridge on one hand. She told the Banner that she is “deathly” afraid of bridges and said she will likely never drive over one again.