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Church mourns couple killed in bridge collapse

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptists in Norman, Okla., are coping with the loss of two active church members who were killed when a 600-foot span of Interstate 40 in Oklahoma collapsed into the waters of the Arkansas River, May 26.

Wayne and Susan Martin, both 49, were headed to a family reunion in Clarksville, Ark. and were crossing the bridge when it plunged more than 70 feet into the river. Family members learned of their deaths after the Martins failed to show up at the reunion.

More than one third of the bridge fell after a towboat pushed a barge into a bridge support. The bodies of 13 people have been pulled from the river. Highway Patrol Lt. Chris West told CNN that 10 vehicles have been recovered, including three semi-trailers.

The Martins and their two daughters were active members of First Baptist Church, Norman.

Wayne Martin was a detective in the Norman Police Dept. and his wife worked periodically at the First Baptist Church, Norman Family Life Center.

Martin had served on the police force for 27 years and was planning to retire next year. He was also president of the city’s Kiwanis Club.

Martin served as a deacon at the church and Susan taught Sunday school.

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