I always get nervous driving over drawbridges. One family vacationing at the Jersey shore had to think fast and jump their Toyota over a drawbridge because it started to raise while they were on it.
Terence Naphys and his family were traveling from the Wildwood to Cape May when they crossed the bridge connecting the two islands. Terence paid the $1.50 toll and proceeded on his way, according to NBC Philadelphia.
As he was driving across the bridge, it began to lift up.
Mr. Naphys told Lower Township Police that the bridge was raising three to six feet. Fearing he would get caught and have his car fall 65 feet into the water, he did what any American dad would do and punched the gas. He was able to jump his RAV4 off the bridge and land safely on the other side. No one was injured, but Naphys told NBC Philly the landing caused upwards of $10,000 worth of damage.
As to why the bridge was rising while occupied by a car, NBC Philly reports:
A commercial fishing vessel was trying to pass under the bridge, and its radio communication was down, officials said. The bridge operator could not contact the large boat.
The operator later told police he was blinded by a sun glare when he checked the bridge for cars, expecting Naphys’ vehicle to clear in time.
According to the story, the bridge was built in the 1940s and apparently relies on the safety mechanism of some guy looking out a window. Authorities say the incident is under investigation. As for Mr. Naphys and his family taking that route to Cape May in the future, he told NBC Philadelphia: “I will never ever drive that bridge or probably any drawbridge again.”
As a local to this part of the Jersey Shore, I can say for a fact sometimes it is just better to take the Garden State Parkway.