Driver jumps rising NJ drawbridge, operator error blamed

LOWER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say operator error is to blame for forcing a driver to accelerate in order to jump across an opening drawbridge in New Jersey.

Police say Terence Naphys of West Deptford Township had paid the toll to cross the Middle Thorofare Bridge with three family members in his vehicle on Aug. 1. As he was crossing the steel grate, it began to rise.

Police say Naphys accelerated and managed to reach the concrete road on the other side, causing minor damage to his vehicle. No one was hurt.

The bridge tender told police a commercial vessel was approaching and he activated the bridge's lights and gates in anticipation that all vehicles would be clear. However, he wasn't sure because of sun glare.

The bridge links Cape May with the Wildwoods.