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Woman Falls 6 Stories To Her Death After Drawbridge Unexpectedly Opens Beneath Her

Woman Falls Six Stories To Her Death After Draw Bridge Unexpectedly Opens Beneath Her

A Florida woman tragically fell “five or six stories” to her death after trying to cross a drawbridge — which unexpectedly opened while she was still on it.

The tragic incident occurred on Sunday in West Palm Beach, as the woman was walking her bicycle across the Royal Park Bridge in the coastal Florida city about 75 miles north of Miami.

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According to reports, the woman was apparently “just ten feet away from the end of the bridge” when the draw mechanism began to lift. Horrifically, she slipped through the rising gap in the road to her death.

On Tuesday morning, according to WPBF, authorities confirmed the woman was 79 years old. However, have not yet provided her name to the media.

Mike Jachles, a West Palm Beach Police Department spokesperson, told news outlet WPTV that the woman tried as hard as she could to hang on once the bridge began to rise below her. Tragically, there was another person there who witnessed the event and attempted to save her life.

Jachles said (below):

“The woman tried to hang on. There was a bystander nearby who tried to help her, but tragically she fell five or six stories below where she died landing on concrete.”

So awful…

The bridge was closed to traffic for more than six hours after the tragedy as first responders arrived at the scene. Now, authorities have opened a full investigation into the incident.

At this point, it’s unclear exactly what happened to have this horrible event occur. Jachles explained some of the common safety protocols involved in raising the drawbridge, telling the media:

“There is a bridge tender, and that bridge tender has certain safety protocols to follow, specific safety protocols. That includes lowering of the gates for the vehicles, lowering of the gates for the pedestrians, and making several visual confirmations that there is nobody at either of the spans or past those gates.”

The Royal Park Bridge is one of three bridges that connects Palm Beach Island to the Florida mainland in the eastern part of the city.

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According to bicycle safety advocate Juan Orellana, the bridge is the biggest of those three, and it is frequently used by cyclists and walkers like the woman involved in this incident.

He told WPTV that the bridge is equipped with barriers and alarms that alert crossers when it is about to rise:

“For one thing you will hear the bell even before the arms go down, so when you hear the bell you gotta get out of the way before the bridge goes up.”

Investigators are reviewing security camera footage from the time of the incident to determine whether the woman ignored safety warnings or something else occurred.

Here is more on the tragic event from WPBF News (below):

So sad.

We send our condolences to the woman’s family, friends, and loved ones.


[Image via WPBF/YouTube]

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Feb 08, 2022 11:54am PDT