The death of a 79-year-old woman after falling from a drawbridge in Florida earlier this month has brought out of the woodwork all sorts of footage of drawbridge operators behaving badly. Like this video from last October of a car on the Ocean Avenue Bridge in Lantana, Florida.
The footage was only recently release, according to WPBF News, and the Palm Beach County employee who was operating the bridge was fired soon after the incident.
I’m not one to victim blame as, ultimately, the bridge tender should always be keeping an eye on traffic before raising the roadway, but it seems the driver purposefully stopped for a full half-minute right on the seam where solid road meets bridge. They’re basically parked in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. It doesn’t seem like there is any engine trouble, as the car continued on its merry way after being slammed into the pavement. The driver also attempted to leave their car while it was at an almost 70 degree angle, which would have almost certainly led to their fall and possibly death.
At least this driver survived his run in with a rising bridge. Carol Wright, 79, was killed earlier this month when she was walking her bike across the Royal Park Bridge, which connects the town of Palm Beach to West Palm Beach. She tried to hold on, but it was too much for her and she died after falling almost 60 feet onto the mechanical elements of the bridge. Lawyers for Wright’s family say she was crossing legally at the time the bridge was raised, but are waiting for additional information before launching a lawsuit against the city, Fox13 reports.
Palm Beach County in Florida has 20 such bridges, some operating every half hour or on demand. Issues are rare, but the do happen, like in November of last year, when a man dangled from a Miami drawbridge in near by Dade County.