Drawbridge Rising, NJ Dad Has to Gun It

Exciting times crossing the Middle Thorofare Bridge
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2017 6:03 AM CDT
Drawbridge Rising, NJ Dad Has to Gun It
A dad was forced to gun his engine when a drawbridge started going up prematurely.   (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Josh Solomon)

A New Jersey driver was forced to gun his engine of his Toyota RAV-4 and jump a drawbridge that began rising as he crossed it with his family. Terence Naphys, of West Deptford Township, had paid the $1.50 toll to cross the Middle Thorofare Bridge with his wife, daughter, and daughter's friend in his vehicle on Aug. 1, reports the AP. The bridge links Cape May with the Wildwoods near the Jersey shore. As he was crossing the steel grate, it began to rise 3 to 6 feet because a vessel was trying to cross, police said. "My wife said, 'I think the bridge is opening,'" Terence Naphys told KYW-TV in Philadelphia, leaving him in fear of dropping 65 feet into the water. "He accelerated, and of course then we landed with a big impact" on the other side, said Jackie Naphys. Nobody was injured.

"It's scary what's going through your mind," Terence Naphys tells NBC 10. "We could have all landed in the water." He estimates that his SUV suffered about $10,000 in damages. Authorities said the operator of the bridge was to blame for the scare. "An employee for the Cape May County Bridge Commission stated that a large vessel was approaching the bridge and they had no contact with that vessel due to their radio being down," police said in their report. The bridge tender told police he activated the bridge's lights and gates in anticipation that all vehicles would be clear. However, he wasn't sure because of sun glare. Terence Naphys said he would never cross the bridge again. (More drawbridge stories.)

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