Driver forced to gun engine and jump rising drawbridge

CBS Newspath

CAPE MAY, N.J. — It sounds like something from a movie, but one family’s terrifying experience high atop a drawbridge in New Jersey was all too real.

The Naphy family was heading to Cape May for some shopping and dining when the unexpected happened. They had just paid the fare and began crossing the Middle Thorofare Bridge when it suddenly began rising.

“My wife said, ‘I think the bridge is opening,’” Terence Naphys told reporters.

More than 65 feet above the water and with very little time to think, Naphys floored the accelerator, sending the car soaring across the opening and slamming into pavement on the other side.

The impact caused $10,000 in damages to the car, but no one inside — Naphys, his wife, daughter and one of the daughter’s friends — was seriously hurt.

They said their big concern now is why it happened in the first place.

According to WCBS, a report of the incident stated a fishing boat was about to pass. The operator said he couldn’t get in contact with the vessel, so he signaled the warning lights and began lifting the bridge. He anticipated that all vehicles would be clear, but he wasn’t sure because of sun glare.

The Cape May County Bridge Commission released the following statement to CBS3:

“The Cape May County Bridge Commission and the County of Cape May are currently conducting an investigation into the situation that occurred on August 1st at the Middle Thorofare Bridge. We take the safety of the traveling public very seriously and systems are in place to prevent incidents like the one that has been reported from occurring. Once the results of our investigation are complete we will take any and all necessary action to insure the continued safety of our customers.”

The bridge links Cape May with the Wildwoods near the Jersey shore.