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Family Rattled When Jersey Shore Drawbridge Opens Underneath Them

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A vacation on the Jersey Shore turned into a scene from a summer action movie.

A car with a family inside was on a drawbridge, when it started opening. That's when dad made a bold decision and hit the gas.

Heading to Cape May for some shopping and dining on August 1, the Naphy family from West Depford paid the $1.50 fare, and began to cross the middle thorofare bridge.

"Family has had a house in North Wildwood since the late 70s. I've been on it numerous times every summer since," Jackie Naphy said.

Suddenly, she noticed that something didn't feel quite right.

"My wife said, 'I think the bridge is opening," Terance said.

"He accelerated and of course then we landed with a big impact on the concrete on the side," Jackie said.

Inside the car, the couple, their daughter, and her friend were all bumped and bruised, but not seriously hurt.

Their vehicle suffered significant damage to the undercarriage with estimates of $10,000.

The family is now trying to figure out how they were even allowed to cross the bridge in the first place.

"It just keeps replaying in your head. you never thought this could happen," Terance said.

Lower Township police are investigating. Their police reports says the bridge operator did not notice the family's car because of a strong sun glare. It put the blame on the Cape May County Bridge Commission for not being aware of their surroundings.

CBS2 reached out to the executive director of the commission Karen Coughlin, who would not speak on camera, but released a statement saying the incident is being investigated.

Police said the bridge started to open because a fishing boat was about to pass. The bridge had no way of communicating with the boat because the vessel's radio was down.

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