Police: Man Took Backhoe Joyride on Florida’s 7 Mile Bridge

February 16, 2016 Updated: February 16, 2016

MARATHON, Fla.—Officials say a 59-year-old man took a backhoe on a joyride across the famous Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys, dumping boulders onto the road along the way.

Monroe County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin says in a news release that Carl Blahnik damaged the road and the sides of the bridge early Tuesday while recklessly driving along it for 90 minutes.

She says deputies following him reversed direction several times to keep from being hit by the backhoe but eventually left the bridge for safety.

The Seven Mile Bridge looking north towards Marathon, Florida February 22, 2011. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
The Seven Mile Bridge looking north towards Marathon, Florida February 22, 2011. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

She says that when Blahnik left the bridge, he hit spikes deputies had placed on the road. He faces charges and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Herrin doesn’t say whether he has a lawyer.

Traffic was allowed back on the bridge after 3 a.m.