Family speaks out days after Providence man, 77, falls to death from drawbridge

The two were walking to a church service downtown before going back home to Rhode Island.

MILWAUKEE, WI. (WLNE) – The family of the 77-year-old Providence man, who fell to his death when he was crossing a drawbridge when it opened, is speaking out days after the unthinkable tragedy.

Richard Dujardin was trailing behind his wife while crossing the bridge Monday afternoon. Surveillance video captures the moments when the bridge begins to rise while the retired Providence Journal writer was about halfway across the Kilbourn Avenue bridge.

The two were walking to a church service downtown before going back home to Rhode Island.

Milwaukee officials say the father of six clung onto the bridge railings for nearly two minutes before falling 71 feet to his death. The bridge opens a full 90 degrees.

Authorities believe Dujardin didn’t notice the bridge’s lights and bells going off, saying he was hard of hearing.

Family flew in from across the country to grieve together in Milwaukee. The family spoke with ABC 6’s sister station, WISN 12 News.

“Our faith has been something that’s been holding us strong right now.” said Dujardin’s son, Philip Dujardin. “We’re still seeking answers.”

Officials say that the operator is supposed to check two video cameras before drawing the bridge. It’s not clear if the operator did that– who is now on leave.

The family says they are now planning funeral arrangements while hoping they get answers from officials on how this could happen.

On Wednesday, ABC 6 spoke with a former co-worker of Dujardin at the Providence Journal. For years, Richard worked there as a religion reporter.

Categories: News