Elderly Man Dies In Freak Wisconsin Drawbridge Accident

Bridge opening up to let boat through

Photo: Getty Images

An elderly man died Monday (August 15) after falling off a Wisconsin drawbridge, according to FOX News.

77-year-old Richard Dujardin of Rhode Island was walking across the Kilbourn Avenue Bridge when he fell off as it began to rise, according to FOX. He and his wife Rosemarie were vacationing in Milwaukee and on their way to church at the time, and Richard was attempting to catch up to his wife who had already made it across the bridge.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's report, the bridge's lights lit up, the bells sounded, and the gates came down at each end of the bridge. However, Richard's family said he was hard of hearing. He reportedly grabbed onto the side rail and "held on for 1-2 minutes" before he tragically fell roughly 70 feet.

"The drawbridge involved in this incident is controlled by the Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW). There are two cameras pointed at the bridge – and workers have to check them before allowing the bridge to open," FOX6 News reports.  A statement from the DPW to the station said the employee working during the incident was fully trained and had worked for multiple years as a bridge operator. The worker is now on leave and seeking counseling.

Richard was a father of six, and he was married to Rosemarie for 56 years.

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