15th anniversary of deadly Pier 34 collapse

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Fifteen years ago, three women were killed when a nightclub on Pier 34 collapsed into the Delaware River.

It's a day DeeAnn White's family will never forget.

"When you lose a child, it's just so unexpected and you're really not prepared for it," said Blanche Tool, mother.

"Everybody's life changed so we know that love and pain can live in your heart at the same time. We definitely loved her and we miss her," said Cheryl Denise Gill, sister.

On May 18th 2000, Pier 34 collapsed into the Delaware River.

White died along with Jean Marie Ferraro, 27, and Monica Rodriguez, 21, co-workers at the New Jersey State Aquarium across the river in Camden.

Fifteen years ago, three women were killed when a nightclub on Pier 34 collapsed into the Delaware River.

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"We are still transitioning through life without DeeAnn. We find it very difficult at times," said Tool.

Her mother has scrapbooked every detail of what happened that tragic night.

DeeAnn was the youngest of five sisters in a close-knit family.

She loved her church, her community and her family.

DeeAnn's mom still remembers the video DeeAnn made for her that last Mother's Day.

"'Mom I'm so glad you raised us the way you did. And I just want to say I love you,' She also said, 'You never know how much time you have on this earth,'" said Tool.

Four days later DeeAnn died.

"If DeeAnn taught us nothing else, you never know what you're last words will be," said Gill.

The family now celebrates DeeAnn, keeping her memory alive by giving out scholarships to students whose spirits and dreams remind them of her.

"We all have our days. We have our different ways of coping with the loss. Everybody does it differently. One thing is certain - we have each other. The love and support we get from each other keeps us going," said Tool.

"We just always think about where DeeAnn would be in her life," said Gill.

DeeAnn's birthday was two days after the tragic pier collapse. This year she would have turned 40.
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