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On March 15, an under-construction, 174-foot-long concrete pedestrian bridge collapsed on a busy road next to Florida International University's campus. Five people who by a cruel twist of fate happened to be driving under the bridge were instantly crushed to death. In addition, a worker standing on top of the structure, a joint project managed by both FIU and the state of Florida, was killed in the collapse. Several more people were injured. Herald reporters immediately rushed to the scene to report on the stunning accident. Following the initial coverage, a team of reporters worked for the rest of the year -- fighting for public records all the way -- to uncover why the bridge had fallen, who had oversight of the taxpayer-funded project, why the road below it remained open during crucial structural work and the impact on the families of the dead.
After receiving a tip from a member of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit (NEIU) board, reporter Sarah Hofius Hall began investigating the retirement of Fred Rosetti, former executive director of the NEIU. She revealed that the board "blindly and quietly" removed caps on accrued vacation and sick days, which meant Rosetti would have received slightly more than half a million dollars in payouts upon retirement.