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Woman crushed to death by Boston drawbridge

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:36 p.m. HST, Dec 31, 2013

BOSTON >> A woman walking across a Boston drawbridge was crushed to death today after an operator raising the bridge for a boat to pass heard her screams and lowered it, accidentally trapping her between the two plates, investigators said.

The woman was crossing the bridge around noon when a bridge operator, not aware that she was on the bridge, began raising it for the boat in the Chelsea River. The woman grabbed hold of one of the sides of the bridge and the operator immediately lowered it when he heard her scream, but she became trapped in between the plates and suffered massive trauma, police said.

"I couldn't see her, but I could hear her," witness Waldina Garcia, 47, told the Boston Globe. "She was screaming and screaming and screaming."

The woman, who wasn't identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators called her death on the Meridian Street Bridge, which connects Chelsea and East Boston, an accident.

The distraught bridge operator was taken to the hospital for evaluation, officials said.

Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino, told the Globe that the bridge operator was placed on unpaid leave pending results of the investigation. She described that as standard procedure.

Investigators told the Globe it wasn't clear whether the woman began crossing the bridge after warning lights and alarms were activated.

The bridge was closed to traffic during the investigation, but later reopened.

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copperwire9 wrote:
Oh pity her family, and pity the drawbridge operator as well. So incredibly sad.
on December 31,2013 | 04:15PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Sad case for the woman. By lowering the bridge wouldn't that create a danger to the boat crossing underneath it? The bridge operations people need to work out some sort of emergency procedures for situations like this.
on December 31,2013 | 07:43PM
krusha wrote:
Ironic that the screaming caused her death in the first place, since the operator wouldn't have lowed the bridge if he didn't hear the scream, and she probably would have just slid down instead.
on January 1,2014 | 02:22AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
krusha, who knows? She might've slid hundreds of feet down, then in between the plates that would kil her. or be sent plunging hundreds of feet into the water. FWIW, I would've screamed too. Poor woman.My condolensenses to the family and the bridge operator.
on January 1,2014 | 05:46AM
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