Following the horrific death of 79-year-old Carol Wright earlier this month, a local Florida news station started digging to see if there were any other draw bridge incidents... and it turns out, there were.
Footage obtained by WPTV through a public records request revealed another Palm Bridge driver had a very lucky escape when the Lantana bridge opened while he was still on it.
As the nerve-wracking video shows, the driver was about one foot away from his car being destroyed — with him still inside it.
The newly unearthed incident occurred on October 21; it shows a cyclist and motorist both entering the bridge just as the alarm sounds and the safety barriers start to descend. Thankfully, the cyclist makes it fully across.
But the driver of the silver Honda, apparently noticing the barriers on the far side have now fully descended, decides to stop right on the hinge of the bridge, with no idea of how close to catastrophe he is about to come.
The bridge starts to rise, lifting the back of the vehicle almost vertical, as the 40-foot drop opens beneath it.
Miraculously, the unidentified driver had stopped with his front fender just far enough over the gap to prevent the car from sliding into it. The panicked driver opens the door and frantically tries to signal the controller, but the bridge is already fully opened. He appears to consider jumping out, but thinks better of it and rides it out in the driver's seat.
Eventually, the now-vertical bridge pushes the car across with a thump on the far side, as it escapes presumably with some front fender scarring and a heavily tested suspension.
According to an incident report, the bridge operator told investigators she didn't see the car until the bridge had closed; her first indication that something was wrong was the loud bang the vehicle made as it was closing.
She was later terminated for violating policies, including failure to visually check the spans.
Providing photos of her viewpoint however, the unidentified worker insisted to the station her view from the control both was obstructed.