Wanda McGowan, who got stuck on a Fort Lauderdale, Florida railroad bridge and had to be recused by local firefighters, could face trespassing charges. The 55-year-old Dania Beach woman was crossing the bridge when it unexpectedly moved.
As the bridge started to rise, she held on to the sides of the two tracks to remain aloft, 22 feet off the ground over the New River.
Matt Little, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale police released a statement.
“We are thankful that the individual involved in this life-threatening incident survived. The decision to trespass on private property was an unfortunate, poor choice that endangered the trespasser’s life as well as the lives of the first responders,” Matt Little, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale police, said in a statement.
“I don’t know why the locals didn’t charge her,” said Robert Ledoux, a spokesman for the Florida East Coast Railway. “There are numerous ‘No Trespassing’ signs. There is no way she could not know she was trespassing.”
Several witnesses were at the scene and called for emergency help. The bystanders also whipped out their phones to take a picture of the rare sight. McGowan was wearing all pink and later told police that she had participated in a breast cancer walk earlier that morning at nearby Huizenga Plaza. ”
She was just in this Jesus Chris position,” witness Phillip Glazebrook told the Sun-Sentinel. “The woman was frozen and terrified. I’m sure she must have been in absolute shock to be stuck in that position.” Glazebrook wasn’t surprised that the crowd took out their phones to document the incident.
“It was like watching an accident on 1-95, rubbernecking,” he said. “She’s stuck up there and they’re just taking photos and videos.”
A Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crew responded at 10:44am and they were able to safely rescue her.
Firefighters used a 24-foot ladder to rescue the woman, who was approximately 22 feet in the air.
Witnesses said it took about 20 minutes for crews to get her safely down.