Published: Mon, August 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Couple Recounts Terrifying Moments Being Stuck On Rising Drawbridge In South Jersey

Couple Recounts Terrifying Moments Being Stuck On Rising Drawbridge In South Jersey

A New Jersey family narrowly survived when they were forced to jump across an opening drawbridge.

Suddenly, the steel grate of the bridge started to open underneath them, rising between 3 and 6 feet in the air - and Naphys made a quick decision to gun it over the bridge.

Terence Naphys, after paying the $1.50 toll at the Middle Thorofare Bridge that connects the Wildwoods and Cape May via Ocean Drive, was heading across the bridge when a steel metal grate suddenly lifted 3 to 6 feet underneath his auto, Naphys told Lower Township police.

"An employee for the Cape May County Bridge Commission stated that a large vessel was approaching the bridge and they had no contact with that vessel due to their radio being down", they explained.

"It's scary what's going through your mind", Terence Naphys said.

"I'm thankful we're still here because I think if we went in the water or stayed on the bridge we wouldn't still be here, or we'd be seriously, seriously injured", said Terrence Naphys.

Naphys, who was driving with his wife, their daughter and a friend, said his options were limited.

Accident The bridge lifted because a man in the control booth was blinded by the sun and thought they would be off the end of the bridge when it began lifting 
Family Forced to Jump Jersey Shore Drawbridge in Their Toyota RAV4

Authorities said the operator of the bridge was to blame for the scare. Fearing he would get caught and have his auto fall 65 feet into the water, he did what any American dad would do and punched the gas. His vehicle sustained minor damage and was able to drive away from the scene.

When they landed the vehicle sustained $10,000 in damages, though no one inside was hurt.

The operator later told police he was blinded by a sun glare when he checked the bridge for cars, expecting Naphys' vehicle to clear in time.

In a statement sent to CBS3, the Cape May County Bridge Commission says they are also investigating this incident.

"Oh, I'll never cross that bridge again", he said.

While Naphys is proud of his white-knuckle heroics, he says he's officially retired from jumping the Middle Thorofare Bridge.

Like this: