A vacationing family just reenacted a scene that could have come straight from any blockbuster action film. They weren’t being chased, but it was definitely a heart-pounding moment. Terence Naphys was driving across a drawbridge with his wife and daughter when it began to rise. Instead of stopping or reversing, the father decided to gun it and jump the bridge.
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The Naphys family was on vacation near the Jersey shore when Terence made the quick decision to jump the bridge. The incident took place as they headed towards Cape May. The family had paid the $1.50 toll to cross when the drawbridge when it suddenly began opening without warning.
Luckily, Terence had a Toyota RAV4 and was able to get over the bridge, which was raised between three to six feet high, according to local police. There were no serious injuries, but NBC Philadelphia reported the Naphys’ vehicle suffered over $10,000 in damages.
When interviewed by police after the incident, Naphys explained he didn’t have time to think. All he knew was he didn’t want his family to fall 65 feet below into the water, according to the New York Post.
“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,” he said in a recent interview.
As to why the bridge rose while the family was still on it, State Police told NBC Philly: “A commercial fishing vessel was trying to pass under the bridge, and its radio communication was down, officials said. The bridge operator could not contact the large boat.”
They added, “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.”
The bridge commission and the employee who lifted the bridge were found to be at fault and shortly after issued a statement.
“We take the safety of the traveling public very seriously and systems are in place to prevent incidents like the one that has been reported from occurring. Once the results of our investigation are complete we will take any and all necessary action to insure the continued safety of our customers,” a bridge commission member told the Philadelphia news outlet.
As for Terence and his family, he will probably steer clear of drawbridges in the future. “I will never ever drive that bridge or probably any drawbridge again.”