Miami-Dade County

Bridge tender taken off duty while FDOT investigates drawbridge death

The 12th Avenue bridge in a file photo.
The 12th Avenue bridge in a file photo. Miami Herald File/2000

The bridge tender for the 12th Avenue drawbridge over the Miami River was suspended after a woman fell off the span and died.

Olga Aponte, 61, was walking along the bridge around 4 p.m. Tuesday when the warning arms were down. It is unknown why she was there, which direction she was heading or what her mental state was. Aponte clung to the railing for her life, before falling about 30 feet and shattering both her legs, said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.

She later died in the hospital.

The bridge tender for the afternoon has worked for Florida Drawbridge Inc. for a year, but the tender is not working while the company investigates, according to a statement by the Florida Department of Transportation.

Florida Drawbridge, a Pompano Beach-based private company that handles bridge operations for FDOT, is “in the process of retrieving the videos” of the accident, according to the agency. Company representatives were not immediately available for comment.

FDOT is investigating the incident.