The Tragedy of the Silver Bridge by Mae Clair
On the bitterly cold day of December 15, 1967, rush hour traffic was at its peak when the Silver Bridge connecting Point Pleasant, West Virginia to Gallipolis, Ohio, abruptly collapsed. Thirty-one cars fell into the icy waters of the Ohio River, resulting in forty-six deaths. To this day, the collapse of the Silver Bridge is considered one of the worst bridge catastrophes in U. S. history.
An eye-bar suspension bridge that was built in 1928 and named for the color of its aluminum paint, the Silver Bridge was designed in a time when the heaviest vehicles on the road were Model T’s and small coupes. Fast-forward to 1967 when the red light on the Gallipolis side of the river failed to change. Traffic stalled on the bridge, backing up into Point Pleasant. The combined weight of so many cars and tractor trailers undoubtedly contributed to the tragic collapse. Witnesses to the event reported hearing a loud “boom” seconds before the bridge plummeted into the water.
Later analysis revealed the disaster was caused by a small defect in a single eyebar—a straight metal bar with a hole at each end connecting to other bars in the chain. When eyebar 330 on the Ohio side failed, it resulted in a chain reaction that made the structure fold like a deck of cards. In less than sixty seconds, Point Pleasant’s beloved bridge was gone.
It’s this sad history that is the starting point of my new mystery/suspense novel, A THOUSAND YESTYEARS. Each of my main characters lost a family member in the bridge collapse. Fifteen later, Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn are still haunted by those events. Eve returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate and in the process unearths a sinister danger that dates back to that tragic day.
A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS
Behind a legend lies the truth…
As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…
Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…
New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien had this to say about A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS:
“A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is masterful, bone-chilling fiction that begins with a real-life tragedy on December 15, 1967: the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. 46 people died. Author Mae Clair has seamlessly woven fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore into one intense thriller. The gripping story focuses on two witnesses to the disaster—fifteen years later. Both Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn lost loved ones in the catastrophe and still carry the emotional scars. After a long absence, Eve returns to Point Pleasant to bury her recently-deceased aunt, face some old ghosts, and reunite with her one-time “impossible-crush,” Caden. But when Eve begins to investigate her aunt’s death, she’s plunged into danger and a nightmare world where scary urban legends are very real. Full of suspense, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”
A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is available from:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her latest release.
Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net where you can sign-up for her newsletter.