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Prosecutors file charge against bridge tender after fatal bridge fall


A formal charge has been filed against a bridge tender after a woman fell to her death from the Royal Park Bridge.

Court documents filed Tuesday by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office show that Artissua Lafaye Paulk, 43, of Greenacres, is charged with one count of manslaughter.

Paul was detained on March 17 after the victim, Carol Wright, fell 40 feet to her death Feb. 6 when the bridge opened as she crossed it with her bicycle.

“Paulk … did by her own act, procurement or culpable negligence, kill Carol Wright by lifting the drawbridge,” according to the court filing.

Prosecutors believe this action caused Wright to fall to her death “without lawful justification and under circumstances not constituting excusable homicide or murder, contrary to Florida Statute 782.07.”

Police claim that surveillance video contradicts Paul’s statement that she walked out onto the balcony and visually checked the bridge prior to opening it.