Authorities identity 79-year-old Florida woman who fell to her death from an opening drawbridge

Authorities in South Florida say the woman who fell to her death from a drawbridge was a 79-year-old resident of West Palm Beach.

Police say the woman, whose name was not released, was crossing the Royal Park Bridge, which connects West Palm Beach to Palm Beach. She was nearing the stationary span of the bridge when the drawbridge rose. A nearby skateboarder attempted to grab the elderly woman but could not reach her.

Police said she briefly held onto a railing before losing her grip and falling 60 feet onto portions of the bridge-raising machinery. They report that she died on impact.

According to a report from WBPF, an investigation is underway into whether proper procedures were followed to make sure the bridge was clear before opening.

"There are warning signs and there are safety procedures in place for the bridge tenders to follow, with multiple steps and multiple layers of checking to make sure that there are no cars or people on the bridge when it goes up," West Palm Beach Public Information Officer Mike Jachles told the station. "So that’s all part of the investigation, to determine whether procedure was followed or whether this woman crossed after the signals were down."

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