Woman Left Hanging From Fort Lauderdale Bridge Giving Statement to Investigators, Railroad Police Chief Says

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    Photo Courtesy Gabriella S. (@mszgabbii on Twitter)
    A witness took this photo of Wanda McGowan hanging onto the railroad bridge over the New River.

    Florida East Coast Railway investigators have found Wanda McGowan and are taking her statement about what happened the day she had to be rescued from a Fort Lauderdale drawbridge, the railroad’s police chief said Monday.

    Investigators need her statement in order to see if there is some kind of safety issue at the railroad’s bridge on the 200 block of 200 Southwest 2nd Street, Police Chief John Young said.

    911 Calls Released in Woman Hanging Onto Fort Lauderdale Bridge Incident

    [MI] 911 Calls Released in Woman Hanging Onto Fort Lauderdale Bridge Incident
    A woman who had to be rescued after she became stuck and hanging on a Fort Lauderdale railroad bridge could face charges in the incident, a spokesman for the railroad said Monday. On Monday authorities released 911 calls of Saturday's incident, while Fort Lauderdale firefighter Michael Hughes told NBC 6 how he climbed up a 24-foot ladder to rescue the woman. NBC 6’s Christina Hernandez reports. (Published Monday, Oct. 14, 2013)

    McGowan, 55, of Dania Beach got stuck on the bridge as it was lifting into the air on Saturday, Oct. 12, hanging on with her hands and feet as the span moved into an upright position. Witnesses said the breast cancer walk participant stayed calm as she held on about 22 feet above the train tracks, until a firefighter climbed a ladder to help her down about 20 minutes later.

    Witnesses who saw McGowan hanging from the bridge by the New River posted photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram. Many of those who watched the situation unfold were, like her, wearing pink shirts from the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk.

    McGowan, who does not have a publicly listed phone number, has not given any interviews about what happened.

    The bridge is closed to pedestrians. Young said there are plenty of visible signs that should have kept her from crossing the bridge.

    “No Trespassing” signs are posted on both sides of the river.

    A Florida East Coast Railway official previously said that McGowan could face charges. But Young said Monday that the Broward State Attorney’s Office – and not his private police department – would decide whether or not to charge McGowan.

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