April 14 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
April 16 2002 Interviews
MONICA SELES
MARY PIERCE
CONCHITA MARTINEZ
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO
ANNA KOURNIKOVA
SERENA WILLIAMS
April 17 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
CONCHITA MARTINEZ
JILL CRAYBAS
STEPHANIE FORETZ
SERENA WILLIAMS
April 18 2002 Interviews
AMANDA COETZER
STEPHANIE FORETZ
MONICA SELES
FRANKIE WHELAN AND MIKE FINLEY
April 19 2002 Interviews
SERENA WILLIAMS
PATTY SCHNYDER
STEPHANIE FORETZ
April 20 2002 Interviews
JENNIFER CAPRIATI
PATTY SCHNYDER
SANDRINE TESTUD
IVA MAJOLI
April 21 2002 Interviews
PATTY SCHNYDER
IVA MAJOLI
Thursday April 18, 2002

A PRESS CONFERENCE WITH FRANKIE WHELAN AND MIKE FINLEY REGARDING THE TRUCK ACCIDENT ON THE MARK CLARK BRIDGE

Q. Do you have some sort of safety procedures in place for when something like this happens?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Yes, we absolutely do. We certainly didn't have one necessarily that would have an accident on the bridge, but I have to say my husband had just arrived from New York, so I happened to be out in the parking lot as the accident took place, and so I saw the truck hit the vehicle. I didn't know it had hit a vehicle, but I saw it hit something, and everything flew over the edge.

And the minute that happened, the Charleston Police were on it in a second. I can't even begin to express my gratitude in how quickly they moved everybody and effectively moved people to safety. My staff was on top of it as well. And I think that we were prepared for something like this to happen, and the police certainly were.

Q. Was the helicopter a police helicopter?
FRANKIE WHELAN: The helicopter I think probably was from the traffic news, and it got out there and they came quickly.
MIKE FINLEY: I do believe it was the police, because actually the ground officers were in contact with those folks on the bridge from the coordination side of it just to make sure to keep people back.

Q. Did the police form the evacuation or did you all do that?
FRANKIE WHELAN: We did it together. I mean we knew that we had to get people back because we didn't know what was in that truck. We didn't know if it was propane or what was there.
I also have all my food and beverage, and all the staff that's back there, so we needed to get them out regardless. We needed to move them, and it was a decision that was just instantly made by everybody and everybody coordinated and did it together.

Q. What was in those tanks?
MIKE FINLEY: I believe it was propane. Actually, our food and beverage tent was right below where the accident happened, and our staff was actually in that tent, and broken glass and a number of other objects, debris, flew on that tent, so I mean we were, our staff especially, was a little shaken and very, very fortunate that nobody was injured on the ground and to my knowledge at this point on the bridge also.

Q. The glass broke on the ground or it sprayed down?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Yeah. It came down. It was a big sheet and it hit and it broke right there.

Q. Monica Seles mentioned that she was in the shower when somebody came in and told her to get out and they were evacuating. Are the showers in the clubhouse or where are they?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Yes. They're in the clubhouse. There are showers that are up in the stadium, but after the players play, they come back into the clubhouse to shower and change.

Q. Do you know specifically what happened with the accident? We heard a truck hit a police car. Do you have any details on exactly what happened?
FRANKIE WHELAN: The only details we have are that a police car stopped to help a disabled car on the bridge, and the truck hit the police car.

Q. Were there a lot of players in the clubhouse that you guys had to evacuate out of there or how did you handle that?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Yeah. Fortunately it wasn't Monday, so we didn't have a full draw in there, and there were some on the courts obviously, playing, and then there were some players that haven't quite left yet and were going to leave today, so yes. And they were all gotten out immediately, and they all did. They all moved just as fast ?? it was not even an issue.
MIKE FINLEY: We're fortunate that the Charleston Police does all of our player security, so we had a number of officers in the building at the time, which definitely helped the evacuation process.

Q. Anything like this happen before in the long history of this tournament?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Well, we've only been here two years, so ??

Q. I mean did anything like this ever happen at Hilton Head?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Not that I know of.
MIKE FINLEY: Not to our recollection, no. This is definitely something very unusual and unfortunate.

Q. Do you have any idea how high the bridge is?
FRANKIE WHELAN: High.
MIKE FINLEY: Yeah, I have a pretty good ?? I think about somewhere around 100 feet at that point where the accident was.

Q. And it goes right over the food and beverage tent?
MIKE FINLEY: Yeah. We have our food and beverage storage area, and I think ?? you know, we have all of our bottled product, Coca?Cola product, bottled water, et cetera.

Q. And if we were to say, I don't know, maybe you can estimate better than we can, how many yards would that be say from the stadium court? 100 yards, 200 yards?
MIKE FINLEY: I'd say probably about 300 yards.
FRANKIE WHELAN: 300 yards.

Q. Stadium court or clubhouse?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Stadium.
MIKE FINLEY: From the clubhouse you're talking probably 100 yards from the clubhouse, 300 yards from the stadium. Coca?Cola's been fantastic, too. All the damaged product, which I think we had about 4,000 or $5,000 in damaged product, they're actually going back to their warehouse right now and replacing it, so I think they've been a great partnership.

Q. Was it all stuff like Coke and bottled water? Was there food and stuff, too?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Yes. Because it was so hot and the product is turning over so quickly, they've been just leaving the sides of the trucks up, and so all the water and all the soot and everything that came down damaged all that, so they're taking the trucks out and bringing new ones in with new product which we're very thankful and grateful for.

Q. How long was play suspended? 45 minutes?
MIKE FINLEY: I'd say 35 to 40 minutes. I think, you know, and the important thing, I know a lot of people have called about the match schedule tonight, and matches are still on schedule. We should be hearing very shortly, if the highway hasn't reopened yet, it should reopen very shortly.
FRANKIE WHELAN: Just before we came in, the tow truck was there to pull the big truck off. So as soon as that happens, then the highway will open, and I know that the traffic is very, very backed up going east, and it's moving going west now. So it probably will be 45 minutes before it really clears out and then we'll be fine, and it's now 5:30.

Q. Was anybody hurt in that truck, the propane truck?
FRANKIE WHELAN: Don't know that.
MIKE FINLEY: Not sure.
FRANKIE WHELAN: Hope not. Hope everybody was fine.

END OF INTERVIEW