A breast cancer walk turned into a frightening ordeal for a Florida woman who was left clinging to a railroad drawbridge after it opened over Fort Lauderdale's New River.
It wasn't clear why the pink-clad woman, identified as a 55-year-old from Dania Beach, was trying to cross the railroad bridge. It is closed to pedestrians and wasn't part of the route for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K.
Witness Philip Glazebrook told NBC6 the bridge gives a loud signal before it rises over the river.
“This bridge is controlled from Tallahassee. There’s not a bridge minder here anymore,” he said. “So she’s stuck on the bridge and she’s going up. The next thing is, she’s stuck, straddled like Jesus Christ."
Images of the woman gripping the span after it rose to an upright position flooded social media. Onlookers told Local10 the woman remained calm as she held on 22 feet in the air for about 20 minutes until firefighters were able to rescue her with a ladder (watch video above).
"The decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser’s life as well as the lives of the first responders," said Fort Lauderdale city spokesman Matt Little, according to CBS Miami.
Fortunately, the woman was unhurt. Check out the dramatic photos below.
UPDATE, October 14, 10:30 a.m.: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the woman may be charged with trespassing, according to Robert Ledoux, a spokesman for the Florida East Coast Railway. "My understanding is that she elected to take a shortcut home," Ledoux told the paper.
He also said the railway had offered to lower the bridge but firefighters elected to use a ladder for the rescue.