Relatives Mourn One of the Men Killed in the Bridge Collapse

Jose López, a father of two, had worked in road and bridge repairs for two years and didn’t mind the difficult overnight shifts, his brother Jovani López said.

They helped with what Jovani López said his little brother saw as his purpose in life: providing food and shelter for his family.

Jovani López said his brother was one of six construction workers who died after the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was struck by a ship and collapsed, plunging Mr. López and several other workers into the Patapsco River.

“He was a great father,” Jovani López, 53, said of his younger sibling, who was in his 30s. He paused, wiped tears from his eyes, and said: “He was my baby brother.”

Jose López had emigrated from Guatemala nearly two decades ago, chasing a better life in the United States, Jovani López said. Jose López’s two children are in elementary school, and he was known in the family as a jokester, Jovani López said.

“He was happy to be working,” the elder Mr. López said. “And now look at us.”

Relatives said they had spent the last couple of days crying and consoling each other, spending sleepless nights thinking about what happened on Tuesday night on the bridge.

Jovani López said he was trying to focus on good memories of his brother: The hot, humid days back at their childhood home in Guatemala, near the eastern city of Chiquimula, where they played soccer; the sound of Jose López’s laugh; and the lives they had built in Baltimore.

But as he stood outside the family’s house, shivering in the cold, he glanced at an American flag waving from a house next door.

“I’m leaving this country soon,” Jovani López said. “There’s nothing for me here now. Nothing.”


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