A Florida woman who started her Saturday walking for cancer ended it dangling after she boarded a railroad bridge as it lifted upward, trapping her mid-air.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that 55-year-old Wanda McGowan from Dania Beach may have been trying to take a shortcut home from the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk when she strolled onto a railway bridge that crosses the New River.
The bridge was lowered because a train had just passed, but as McGowan crossed, sporting her pink charity T-shirt and carrying her pink bag, the bridge lifted to its usual vertical position, pulling her off her feet, according to the Sun Sentinel. She clung to the bridge with her hands as she hung 22 feet in the air.
Several calls to 911 brought firefighters to McGowan's rescue and about 20 minutes later, she descended a long ladder to safety. NBC Miami reported the bridge, which is controlled from Tallahassee, has multiple 'No Trespassing' signs and sounds loudly each time it lifts.
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Authorities told the Sun Sentinel the woman put herself and rescuers in danger and she could be charged with trespassing. However, one witness named Ashanicka Powell told NBC McGowan's strong will to hang on was appropriate for the event supporting courageous women in their fight against breast cancer.
"So many people that are ready to give up the fight and still are hanging in there – that just symbolized that, 'cause she could have let go at any minute and she didn’t,'" Powell told NBC.
ABC News reported McGowan grasped her pink handbag throughout the whole ordeal, never letting it go.
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