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Bridge tender investigated for manslaughter after 79-year-old woman fell to her death

Carol Wright died Feb. 6 while crossing Royal Park Bridge
Royal Palm Bridge drawbridge raised
Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 20:27:54-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Contact 5 has obtained new information on the bridge tender who was on duty when a 79-year-old West Palm Beach woman plummeted to her death when a state-owned bridge opened while she crossed it.  

A search warrant reviewed by Contact 5 shows police are investigating the bridge tender for manslaughter by culpable negligence.  

Right now, Contact 5 is not naming the person because no charges have been filed.  

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According to the search warrant, West Palm Beach police want to see outgoing and incoming calls and text messages. Detectives also want to see all images on the phone as well as the web search history.  

The warrant said everything on the bridge tender's cellphone is, "relevant to providing that a felony has been committed."  

Photo of Carol Wright, who fell to her death off Royal Park Bridge in West Park Beach
A poster board shows an enlarged photograph of Carol Wright, 79, who fell to her death off the Royal Park Bridge in West Park Beach on Feb. 6, 2022.

"You're going to be able to see whether or not at the time, at that particular date and time, were they actually utilizing their phone, meaning were they texting, or actually engaged in a call, or involved in social media," criminal defense attorney Stuart Kaplan, who is not related to the case, said. 

Contact 5 started investigating bridge tenders after the death of Carol Wright on Feb. 6 while she crossed the Royal Park Bridge.  

The bridge tender in question works for a private company contracted by the Florida Department of Transportation.  

Neither the state agency nor the company has answered Contact 5's questions.  

Contact 5 made several attempts to contact the bridge tender for comment.  

It remains unclear if she has either been suspended or fired.