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Rhode Island man vacationing in Milwaukee dies in fall from drawbridge

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Aug 18, 2022

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A Rhode Island man vacationing in Wisconsin has died after he fell more than 70 feet while attempting to walk across a rising drawbridge in Milwaukee.

According to a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office report, 77-year-old Richard Dujardin of Providence, Rhode Island, was walking across the Kilbourn Avenue Bridge with his wife Monday afternoon when it began to rise, NBC affiliate TMJ4 reported.

The report said his wife, Rose-Marie Dujardin, made it across the bridge. However, Richard Dujardin, who was looking at an iPad while walking, was still in the middle when it began rising, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"The lights, bells, and arms came down at each end of the bridge," the report said according to the news outlets. "However, Richard was hard of hearing, and it is thought that he didn't notice them."

The report states that the 77-year-old tried to catch up to his wife, but couldn't, so he grabbed onto the side railing but lost his grip and fell 71 feet to the pavement below, the news outlets reported.

According to the report, the news outlets reported that Richard Dujardin suffered head trauma and died from his injuries at the scene.

The bridge is controlled by the city's Department of Public Works, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement to the news outlets, Interim Commissioner of Public Works Jerrel Kruschke said the operator was "fully trained," and is in his fourth year as a bridge operator and had opened bridges hundreds of times.

Kruschke added that the bridge operator was on leave and that he "was connected with the City’s Employee Assistance Program for counseling," the newspaper reported.

Milwaukee Police said in a statement that there is no suspicion of a criminal act, but the investigation was ongoing, the Associated Press reported.

Rose-Marie Dujardin told TMJ4 that her husband of 54 years was a reporter at the Providence Journal.