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'My little girl was trapped': FIU student Alexa Duran died in bridge collapse, dad says

Florida International University student Alexa Duran was driving her gray Toyota SUV under a pedestrian bridge in front of the university on Thursday when it collapsed, trapping her car beneath the rubble.

Her father, Orlando Duran, confirmed 18-year-old Alexa's death to el Nuevo Herald on Friday afternoon.

"My little girl was trapped in the car and couldn't get out. She died when the bridge collapsed on top of her car," Duran said in Spanish, speaking to el Nuevo Herald from London, where he was traveling when he got the news.

Read More: Rubio says engineers were tightening loose cables when the FIU bridge collapsed

"This is going to be the longest and saddest trip of my life. I don't want to return," he said as he waited for his flight home.

Alexa Duran was driving past FIU with her friend Richard Humble, who was in the passenger seat, when the bridge collapsed, according to her friend Manny Perez. Humble was able to get out of the car, but was unable to get Duran out, Perez said. Humble sustained some injuries and is in a neck brace and a leg brace but is otherwise in stable condition.

"The way the bridge fell, it fell on the driver's side," Perez said, speaking to the Miami Herald on Thursday evening outside FIU's family reunification center. He and another friend, Lynnet Gomez, both FIU students, had come to the center seeking information about Duran's whereabouts.

Gomez described Duran as "an awesome person."

"She is the funniest person I know," she said.

Duran was a freshman political science major at FIU and met Gomez during freshman orientation last year. Both girls were in the newest pledge class for the Alpha Xi Delta sorority at FIU.

Duran enrolled at FIU after attending Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches. She also went to Country Club Middle School in Hialeah, according to her Facebook profile.

Perez, a junior at FIU, said Duran is "one of those people who lights up any room, any circumstance, situation. She always makes her presence known."

Duran is the first victim to be identified of the six people confirmed dead in the accident.

The bridge was intended to give FIU students a safe way to cross Tamiami Trail and was part of a project to link FIU's Modesto A. Maidique Campus to the city of Sweetwater, where several thousand students live. The walkway had not yet opened to student traffic.

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