Remembering Galloping Gertie 83 years after collapse of Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Remembering Galloping Gertie 83 years after collapse of Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Eighty-three years ago, on Nov. 7, 1940, Galloping Gertie collapsed and fell into the Tacoma Narrows.

At about 11 a.m., the 1940s version of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge came tumbling down after heavy winds were too much for the four-month-old suspension bridge.

At 2,800 feet, the third-longest suspension span in the world was completed on July 1 of that year.

The remains now serve as an artificial reef below in the Narrows.

It wasn’t until the early 1950s that a replacement bridge opened in the same location.

No human life was lost in the collapse, however, a black male cocker spaniel named Tubby was lost in the disaster.

According to, Tubby’s owner said:

“Just as I drove past the towers, the bridge began to sway violently from side to side. Before I realized it, the tilt became so violent that I lost control of the car... I jammed on the brakes and got out, only to be thrown onto my face against the curb. Around me I could hear concrete cracking. I started to get my dog Tubby, but was thrown again before I could reach the car. The car itself began to slide from side to side of the roadway. On hands and knees most of the time, I crawled 500 yards or more to the towers... My breath was coming in gasps; my knees were raw and bleeding, my hands bruised and swollen from gripping the concrete curb... Toward the last, I risked rising to my feet and running a few yards at a time... Safely back at the toll plaza, I saw the bridge in its final collapse and saw my car plunge into the Narrows.”

The second bridge was built in 1950.