Kilbourn bridge tragedy: 'He held on for 1-2 minutes'

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Additional details have come to light involved the tragic death of Providence, RI native Richard Dujardin, 77, who died shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug., 15 in Milwaukee when the Kilbourn St. Bridge opened with him on it.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's report, Dujardin was looking at an iPad screen while walking eastbound across the bridge and following behind his wife, who was ahead of him.

Richard, who, according to his wife was hard of hearing, did not appear to be aware of the bridge opening.

Reportedly, when the bridge began to rise Dujardin grabbed onto the side handrail. The bridge rose, eventually reaching its full 90-degree vertical height, at which point Dujardin held on for 1-2 minutes before falling to the pavement below.

The MCME estimates that he fell from a height of 71 feet, which translates to more than 6 stories. In falling, Dujardin suffered a large fracture on the back of his skull.

The drawbridge in this area is controlled by the Dept. of Public Works employees from a location on Water Street via cameras. Employees have 2 camera views of the bridge, and have to check both cameras before allowing it to rise. A total of 7 bridges are operated from this location.

The bridge is dark green in color and Dujardin was wearing dark clothing at the time of his death. It is not yet clear whether the operators were unable to see Dujardin on the bridge or saw him and were unable to stop the bridge's progress in raising vertically.

Richard Dujardin and his wife were reportedly on vacation in Milwaukee when the incident occurred. 

The MCME narrative report is below. 


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