Man Took Backhoe Joyride on 7 Mile Bridge: Deputies

Video shows the backhoe dragging a tool on the highway, leaving a trail of sparks

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Officials say a 59-year-old man took a backhoe on a joyride across the famous Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys, dumping boulders onto the road along the way.

Monroe County Sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin said in a news release that Carl Blahnik damaged the road and the sides of the bridge early Tuesday while recklessly driving along it for 90 minutes.

She said deputies following him reversed direction several times to keep from being hit by the backhoe but eventually left the bridge for safety.

Officials released dashcam footage from one of the deputies' car which shows the backhoe kicking up sparks during part of the pursuit.

Herrin said that when Blahnik left the bridge, he hit spikes deputies had placed on the road. He faces charges and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Herrin didn't say whether Blahnik has a lawyer.

Traffic was allowed back on the bridge after 3 a.m.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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