WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WFLA/NBC) — A 79-year-old Florida woman died Sunday after she fell from a drawbridge in West Palm Beach as it began to open, according to police.
NBC affiliate WPTV reported that the woman was walking her bicycle across the Royal Park Bridge, a bridge commonly used by bicyclists, when the gates came down, the alarm sounded, and the bridge began to rise.
A West Palm Beach police spokesman said that the woman was 10 feet from the end of the bridge when she fell through a gap in the road.
The woman tried to hang on to the bridge but couldn’t, according to police.
“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 Mike Jachles, spokesman for the West Palm Beach Police Department
As of this report, the victim was not identified due to Marsy’s Law. She was described as a 79-year-old Palm Beach County resident.
The Royal Park Bridge was closed for about six hours after the incident. Jachles said the department is looking at surveillance video to determine how the incident could have happened and whether there was a violation of safety procedures.
“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.” he said.