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Palm Beach Drawbridge Tender Arrested After Woman Fell To Her Death

WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Palm Beach bridgetender has been arrested after a woman fell to her death back in February.

Artissua Paulk, 43, has been charged with manslaughter.

According to West Palm Beach PD, Paulk was on duty on February 6 when a 79-year-old woman was walking her bike across the bridge.

Investigators said Paulk opened the bridge as the West Palm Beach resident, whose name is being withheld per Marsy's Law, was crossing the span.

Officials said a bystander tried to pull her to safety but lost his grip.

"The woman tried to hang on. There was a bystander nearby who tried to help her, but tragically she fell five or six stories below where she died landing on concrete," said West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles at the time of the incident.

The Florida Department of Transportation maintains the bridge, but the bridgetenders are staffed by a private state contractor.

Detectives met with Paulk on February 17 at her home. During the investigation, detectives determined that Paulk was not using her phone at the time of the accident.

Paulk was booked into the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Main Detention Center.

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