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Court Hearing On Request For Injunction That Could Close SJ Beach For Good

by KYW's David Madden

ATLANTIC CITY. NJ (CBS) -- A Superior Court judge down the shore has taken under advisement a bid by North Wildwood and the State of New Jersey to throw out a move to close a dangerous section of beach forever.

Brad Smith was killed over 4 years ago when the beach on Hereford Inlet literally collapsed under his feet and he was swept out by the tide. A tragedy, concedes the city and state, but not enough to call for a court ordered beach closure.

Family attorney Paul D'Amato would beg to differ and hopes for a relatively quick decision on the injunction request. "Let's get a decision before Memorial Day. Ideally the sooner the better because there will be another drowning. The question is going to be when," D'Amato told KYW Newsradio.

North Wildwood's attorney, Michael Barker, argues the family has yet to exhaust administrative remedies before going to court. Judge Julio Mendez promises a quick decision on the dismissal motion which could pave the way for expert testimony on just how dangerous the beach really is. But a ruling is not expected for at least a week.

Smith's eldest daughter, Nicole Gaeta, hopes that a decision on the injunction come before someone else dies there. "Were it to happen again, it would be really bad because everybody knows that this will happen again," she said."It's just a matter of time."

At least two other people have died on that small stretch of beach in recent years.

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