A 77-year-old man plunged nearly 70 feet to his death on Monday after a draw bridge opened.
The Rhode Island man was on vacation in Milwaukee with his wife when he died while crossing a downtown drawbridge.
Richard Charles Dujardin, a former reporter from Providence, Rhode Island, was halfway across the bridge when it began to raise.
Dujardin tried grabbing onto the side rails but he lost his grip and plummeted 70 feet to his death.
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Mr. Dujardin’s wife, Rose-Marie Dujardin made it across the bridge safely.
Richard and Rose-Marie Dujardin
According to reports, Richard Dujardin, who is hard of hearing, was on his iPad as he was crossing the bridge.
The bridge tender has been put on leave pending an investigation.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:
A 77-year-old Rhode Island man was vacationing in Milwaukee with his wife when he died in a gruesome fall as a downtown bridge opened, authorities said.
As more details emerged Tuesday about the man’s death, questions remained as to how the bridge operator — controlling it remotely — could have missed the man on the bridge in surveillance video. He is now on leave.
Just after noon Monday, Richard Charles Dujardin, a former religion reporter who lived in Providence, Rhode Island, was crossing the Kilbourn Avenue Bridge over the Milwaukee River with his wife, Rose-Marie, according to a report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Richard was looking at an iPad while walking, the report said.
Rose-Marie made it all the way across the bridge to its east side, and Richard was still in the middle of the bridge when it began to rise, according to the medical examiner.
“The lights, bells, and arms came down at each end of the bridge, however Richard was hard of hearing and it is thought that he didn’t notice them,” the report said.
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Earlier this year a Florida bridge tender was charged with manslaughter after she raised a Palm Beach bridge while an elderly woman on foot was still trying to safely reach the other side.