HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Winola Barnes has lived next to Raymond Edwards for the past five years.
“I guess you’d call him my helper or my handyman. Whatever I needed done he would do,” said Barnes.
Barnes said Edwards spent most of his time on his porch reading.
“He would love to sit there on that porch. Some days it would be so cold he would put his tabagan on and sit out there and he would read and listen to the rather at the same time,” said Barnes.
Barnes said Edwards was also intelligent and loved history. She said he would drive around town exploring different places.
“But he would always go out on the afternoon and took that ride. He would just get so bored at home and he would get outside and ride, but he always would come back home before 5,” said Barnes.
But on Feb. 5, when Edwards didn’t come home, Barnes said she and her neighbors knew something was wrong.
“And when the other lady mentioned that car being off, I knew right then that was Ray. Somehow or another I knew that was Ray. I never once doubted it because I knew Ray always came home before dark,” Barnes.
Now, Barnes said while she will never know why Edwards drove over the flooded bridge that took his life away, all she has are memories to remember him by.
“Because most every morning I would see him and all during the day. I miss him sitting on that porch reading, I miss hearing him out back in his workshop. I miss him terribly. I really do,” said Barnes.
The Jackson County and Dekalb County commissions are working with state park officials to have gates in place to close the bridge when it floods.