Woman dies after 6-story fall from drawbridge that raised while she was still on it

Although fatal incidents on drawbridges are exceedingly rare, there’s a reason why so many people are afraid to travel over them, especially as a pedestrian, for fear of the bridge drawing at the very moment they’re crossing over it.

According to the Daily Caller, that same nightmarish and deadly scenario just played out recently on a Florida drawbridge that connects Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, as a woman who was pushing her bicycle across it on Sunday found herself clinging on for life as the bridge began to lift, which eventually caused her to fall to her death. 

“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,” said West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles, according to local affiliate WPTV.

While authorities haven’t released much on the deadly and horrific incident that happened on the Royal Park Bridge, the primary question is why the person in charge of drawing the bridge — the bridge tender — failed to make sure all pedestrians were clear before raising the bridge.

“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 vehicles, lowering of the gates for pedestrians, and making several visual confirmations that there is nobody at either of the spans of past those gates,” the spokesman added.

Juan Orellana, a local bicycle safety advocate, told reporters: “Palm Beach is accessible only through three bridges and this is the main bridge, so it’s very used by cyclists.”

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

As of this writing, police have not yet identified the deceased woman.