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Family Has Questions After Woman Dies Falling Off Miami Drawbridge

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of a Miami woman who died after falling from an open drawbridge is struggling to understand how it happened.

"It hurts. It doesn't make sense," Michael Ashley Aponte said. "She was my grandmother."

Olga Aponte, 62, sustained critical injuries when she fell and died afterwards at Jackson Memorial, according to Miami Fire Rescue

On Tuesday, Aponte was somehow stuck on the NW 12th Ave. drawbridge as it opened.

Police said she tried to hold onto the railing, but fell 30 to 40 to the ground.

"How does the bridge go up when someone is walking across?" Ashley Aponte said.

The warning lights and arms were working and it's not clear how the accident happened.

CBS4 asked the Florida Department of Transportation about the bridge tender's training and were told the bridge tenders all go through training and learn the correct procedures to follow while operating the bridge. The training includes safety practices such as ensuring no vehicles or pedestrians are on the bridge before starting any opening sequence.

According to FDOT, the bridge tender has been on the job a year and works for a subcontractor, Florida Drawbridge Inc.

The bridge tender is not working pending further investigation by Florida Drawbridge, said Ivette Ruiz-Paz, spokeswoman for FDOT.

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