The 26-year-old driver who jumped the Fort Street drawbridge while it was opening – “Dukes of Hazzard” style – was charged Friday with reckless driving and with two counts of malicious destruction of property.
“These pandemic times have seemingly brought out the worst in many Michigan drivers,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “The rules of the road the same and there is no place for drivers who refuse to follow them and instead try alleged stunts like this.”
Police said Gomez was eager to cross the Fort Street bascule bridge near Miller Road at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, stepped on the accelerator and flew through the air, landing on the other side.
It was not clear to investigators why he did it.
Miraculously, Gomez survived and his feat quickly went viral on social media.
But, he crashed through the bridge’s security gate, wrecked his car, and ended up in jail.
He is expected to be arraigned Friday in 36th District Court in Detroit.
Michigan Department of Transportation officials said there is no surveillance video of the jump but, the drawbridge operator who witnessed it described it as a scene out of a movie.
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One police dispatcher even compared it to a scene out of the “Dukes of Hazzard,” a ’80s TV show and later a movie, in which an orange, 1969 Dodge Charger would flee from police and often take flying leaps.
The Fort Street Bridge, 176-foot span over the Rouge River, is regarded as something of an engineering marvel. It is the heaviest bascule leaf in the world and second largest by deck area, according to the National Steel Bridge Alliance.
It has one arm, instead of two, and looks a little like a castle bridge over a moat.
MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross estimated the bridge repairs would be $50,000-$60,000. She called the stunt “very dangerous,” adding that “all of us are lucky that no one was killed.”