'Her 79-year-old arms and hands gave way;' lawyer for drawbridge victim's family speaks

‘Her 79-year-old arms and hands gave way;’ lawyer for drawbridge victim’s family speaks

(As originally published with more photos and several soundbites, Mon, February 14th 2022, 11:00 AM EST)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — The woman who fell to her death from the Royal Park Bridge in West Palm Beach, Fla., last week has been identified as 79-year-old Carol Wright.

Monday morning, her family’s lawyer spoke about the tragedy.

West Palm Beach police said on Feb. 6, Wright was walking her bicycle westbound across the Royal Park Bridge, from Palm Beach to West Palm Beach, when the bridge opened, and she got caught in the middle and fell through an opening.

Wright was just 10 feet away from the fixed portion of the bridge.

Monday, the lawyer described in detail what allegedly happened.

Lance Ivey said she went onto the bridge legally. Then, she got off her bicycle to walk it across the span.

He said there was no alarm nor whistle.

“She’s trapped … tries to clasp onto the rails as the bridge is lifting. She’s trying painfully to hold on with her 79-year-old hands. Her arms are weak and tired, trying to hold on,” Ivey explained.

“She gave it a valiant effort but unfortunately her 79-year-old arms and hands gave way and she falls,” he continued.

“She fell about 50 to 60 feet below to a concrete barrier down below. … First responders came as soon as they could. And unfortunately, it took some time for them to get to Carol. And by the time they got down to Carol, she had succumbed to her injuries.”

The investigation is looking into whether the bridge tender followed safety protocols before opening the drawbridge.

UPDATE: Police: Bridge tender didn’t tell the truth, supervisor texted what to tell police

According to Ivey, the bridge tender was negligent. He said there was a minimum of three cameras on the bridge with monitors to see pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Besides monitoring those cameras, Ivey said the bridgetender was supposed to physically walk onto a 360-degree balcony a minimum of three times. “Carol was there to be seen,” he said.

'Her 79-year-old arms and hands gave way;' lawyer for drawbridge victim's family speaks
Lawyer Lance Ivey describes the tragedy that killed Carol Wright on the drawbridge, Feb. 14, 2022. (WPEC)

There is also supposed to be a stop button that could’ve been pushed to prevent her from falling.

“They didn’t even do the bare minimum to protect Carol,” he claimed.

Ivey asked third-party vendor Florida Drawbridge Inc. and any witnesses with video or pictures to help provide the family with answers.

He added, the family will diligently pursue this case and legal remedies so something like this never happens to another family.

Wright’s name had been withheld under Marsy’s Law, but now her family has come forward.

Wright’s family had moved to Miami when she was young, and she graduated from the University of Miami.

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