Man accelerates to cross rising drawbridge, safely lands on other side

Family Forced to Jump New Jersey Drawbridge

Family Forced to Jump New Jersey Drawbridge

Well, a family in New Jersey was forced into a similar situation earlier this month, when a drawbridge began to lift directly beneath their Toyota RAV4.

An operator is thought to have been temporarily blinded by sun glare as he opened the drawbridge to let a fishing vessel pass.

When the bridge started to open, driver Terrance Naphys says he barely had time to think, so he gunned the engine and cleared the opening.

Police say Terence Naphys of West Deptford Township had paid the toll to cross the Middle Thorofare Bridge with three family members in his vehicle on August 1.

Mr Naphys was on holiday his wife Jacquelyn, daughter Kaity, 16, and her 16-year-old friend, when the incident happened.

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Jackie Naphys, who was also in the auto along with her daughter and her daughter's friend, said her husband floored the vehicle when he realized the bridge was opening underneath them.

With not many options to choose from, driver Terence Naphys made a decision to put his foot down and see if he could make the gap.

"It's scary what's going through your mind", he told NBC 4.

According to CBS Philadelphia, the family was on the metal gate of the bridge getting ready to cross to the other side when it suddenly lifted three to six feet in the air.

"I'm thankful we're still here because I think if we went in the water or stayed on the bridge we wouldn't still be here, or we'd be seriously, seriously injured", said Terrence Naphys.

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The Prince George's County Fire Department responded to the scene, but all three children were pronounced dead at the scene. The mother came home from work early Friday morning to find the girls in their beds, suffering from apparent stab wounds.

"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.

Naphys says he's not sure when - or even if - he'll ever drive on that bridge, let alone any other drawbridge again.

When they landed the auto sustained $10,000 in damages, though no one inside was hurt.

Investigators said the incident was an operator error and is under investigation by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

But the Naphys say no one from the bridge commission has reached out to them.

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