Strangers on a bus from Little Rock, Arkansas, riding to a weekend of fun and gambling in Louisiana, every one a winner of a contest sponsored by Good Morning, Arkansas!. The bus left Little Rock about two hours ago. The rising morning sun struggles to pierce the unseasonable fog.
“Folks,” says Mitch Michaels, Good Morning, Arkansas! host, “we’re about to head over the Ouachita River across one of the first bridges built in Arkansas by the Public Works Administration during World War Two.”
The drone of the tires on the road changes pitch as the bus rolls onto the bridge. Suddenly, the big vehicle lurches hard to the left. A woman screams. A flash of light whites out the windshield at the same time a high-pitched whine pierces your ears.
Just as quickly, the light and noise vanishes. The bus tilts at a strange angle, its front end higher than its rear.
“Holy crap!” someone yells. “We’re in the river!”