Woman dies after falling through a drawbridge that lifted unexpectedly
A woman sadly passed away on Sunday after she fell from a drawbridge in West Palm Beach in Florida.
The incident happened at around 1pm when the unnamed woman was walking across the bridge with her bicycle when it began to rise unexpectedly.
According to the Palm Beach Post, she was around 10 feet away from the end of the bridge when this occurred.
"She was walking her bike from east to west and had almost reached the furthest point of the moveable span when it went up," West Palm Beach Police spokesman Mike Jachles told the newspaper.
As she fell, a passerby reached out and grabbed her but was unfortunately unable to keep hold of her, the police said.
"The woman tried to hang on. There was a bystander nearby who tried to help her, but tragically she fell five or six stories" before landing on concrete, Jachles told NBC affiliate WPTV.
The bridge was then closed for several hours after the tragedy before it reopened at around 7pm that evening.
"That bridge tender has certain safety protocols to follow," Jachles added to WPTV, explaining that the protocols include "making several visual confirmation that there is nobody at either of the spans or past those gates" before the gate rises.
Also according to The Palm Beach Post, police officers who arrived on the scene described the beach tender as "distraught."
An investigation is currently ongoing to discover why the drawbridge began to open before all pedestrians were across safely.
"At some point it opened," Jachles told The Palm Beach Post, adding that the tender's actions prior the bridge being lifted will be looked into.