Video shows bicyclist cling to North Palm bridge as it rises
A Contact 5 investigation into bridge tenders has revealed another frightening video of a bridge opening, trapping someone on it.
It happened in November 2020 on the Parker Bridge in North Palm Beach along U.S. 1 while a bicyclist crossed over it.
A driver waiting at the bridge recorded the video, which shows the biker holding on as the span continues to rise.
The man on the bike, who according to a police report was 59-years-old at the time, told police he "never heard the warning bells to indicate the bridge was going up until the bridge was already in motion."
Video of the incident shows the man losing his grip and stepping off his bike to grab the railing.
The force of gravity is too great, and the bike slips and falls to the concrete below.
Hanging on, and while the bridge appears fully opened, the man begins to climb down the railing.
The video ends and the man who recorded it told Contact 5 that he assisted the bicyclist down to safety.
The 25-year-old bridge tender involved in the incident was employed by Florida Drawbridges Inc., according to a police report reviewed by Contact 5.
The bridge tender told police that "she did not see anyone on the bridge at the time she began to lift it" and claims "she sounded the warning bells and lowered the bridge arms before lifting the bridge."
Police said the bridge tender was unaware of the incident until an officer brought it to her attention.
Attorney Lance Ivey of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath gave Contact 5 the video of the November 2020 incident after the witness sent it to him and gave the attorney permission to distribute it to the media.
"This gentleman was successful in at least not falling to his death," Ivey said while watching the video. "We're talking about within feet of the bridge house, within eyeshot, these people are there to be seen."
Contact 5 first showed you another horrifying video of the county-owned Lantana bridge opening last October with a car still on it. That incident cost the bridge tender her job.
This latest video surfacing of the incident in North Palm Beach comes after the tragic death of Carol Wright. Ivey represents her family.
"Just a quiet giver is who Carol Wright was," he said.
Wright, 79, died Feb. 6 after the Royal Park Bridge opened while she crossed it.
The Florida Department of Transportation owns the bridge and Contact 5 has learned it's manned by bridge tenders from the same company that manned the Parker Bridge in North Palm Beach, Florida Drawbridges Inc.
That company and the Florida Department of Transportation have not released details about the Royal Park Bridge incident, which remains under investigation.
"This doesn't seem to be an isolated incident with Ms. Wright," Ivey said. "It appears like it might be problematic for Palm Beach County, maybe all of South Florida."
Contact 5 asked Florida Drawbridges Inc. for comment on the Parker Bridge incident.
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