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Texas | Architecture | Bridges

1939 Salt Fork Red River Bridge
The "Red River Plunge" Bridge of Bonnie & Clyde
Wellington, Texas

Collingsworth County
US Highway 83
Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge
The 1939 Salt Fork Red River Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008

The U.S. Highway 83 Through Truss Bridge

Built in 1939 to replace an earlier bridge over the Salt Fork of the Red River, six miles north of Wellington in Collingsworth County.

Soon after the earlier bridge washed out, Bonnie and Clyde and their gang drove off into the river at high speed in June of 1933 in what has been called "The Red River Plunge of Bonnie & Clyde." Bonnie was badly burned, and it is said she couldn't walk without assistance for the rest of her short life. A neighboring farm family, acting as Good Samaritans, was held hostage in their home, and a woman was shot through the hand but not badly injured.

The current bridge is being threatened with demolition by TXDOT even though it is listed on the National Register.

Wes Reeves

Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge historical marker
Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Historical Marker

The Red River Plunge of Bonnie and Clyde

On June 10, 1933, Mr. & Mrs. Sam Pritchard and family saw from their home on the bluff (west) the plunge of an auto into Red River. Rescuing the victims, unrecognized as Bonnie Parker and Clyde and Buck Barrow, they sent for help. Upon their arrival, the local sheriff and police chief were disarmed by Bonnie Parker. Buck Barrow shot Pritchard's daughter while crippling the family car to halt pursuit. Kidnapping the officers, the gangsters fled. Bonnie and Clyde were fated to meet death in 1934. In this quiet region, the escapade is now legend.
(1975)
Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - 1939 Salt fork Red River Bridge Plaque
The 1939 Salt Fork Red River Bridge Plaque
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - US  Highway 83 through truss Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - Bonnie And Clyde Red River Plunge Bridge
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Collingsworth County Tx - 1939 Salt fork Red River Bridge plaque
The 1939 Salt Fork Red River Bridge Plaque
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2008
Bonnie and Clyde Red Rive Plunge Bridge, US 83, Collingsworth County, Texas
Photo by Wes Reeves, early 2004
More on Bonnie and Clyde
See Wellington, Texas | Collingsworth County
More Texas Bridges

Related Topics:
Texas | Architecture | Texas Towns
Related Books & DVD
My Life With Bonnie & Clyde
by Blanche Caldwell Barrow
Bonnie and Clyde: A Twenty-First-Century Update
Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults
DVD:
Bonnie and Clyde
 
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