CBS Detroit – Some guys will do anything for ‘the shot’ and a mystery photographer could face stiff fines for climbing the Mackinaw Bridge… if authorities can catch him. The Detroit Free Press reports the Mackinac Bridge Authority and the Michigan State Police have opened an investigation after, in early November, a man triggered an alarm while climbing one of the towers. A few hours later they say the alarm was triggered again and the trespasser was seen leaving. Police were called but the mystery photographer wasn’t found.
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Later on, the bridge authority reports the person posted the pictures on Instagram under an account called ‘Diftershoots’. The photographer known online as Drift posted the pictures and noted in his account that evening the Northern lights were visible although dimly, which gave him the inspiration to do a composite shot with the bridge and northern lights.
The actions of Drifter are not sitting well with authorities. Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Kim Nowack told The Detroit News, “This is not a harmless stunt; it’s inexcusably reckless,”. she also told the Detroit Free Press, “This individual risked not only his own life but also the lives of those crossing the bridge beneath him, and would have threatened the safety of emergency personnel and Mackinac Bridge Authority staff had a rescue been needed.”
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Now the MSP has vowed to “use all our resources” to identify and prosecute the trespassing photographer, as authorities are concerned others may try this stunt and put themselves or passing motorists below at risk. If found and convicted the photographer known as Drifter could face four years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
Transportation Director for MDOT, Paul Ajegba says that enhanced security measures will be put in place to prevent people from climbing the Might Mac again. “While the Michigan State Police continue their investigation, I have also asked the MDOT employees at the bridge to conduct a thorough review and implement measures to prevent future incursions,” Ajegba told The Detroit News. He also said, “It is very troubling that someone would put their own life at risk, not to mention that of others, just for photos and thrills on our state’s signature bridge,”.
The Detroit News also reports the same photographer made waves in September when he climbed atop the Ambassador Bridge to get shots atop it too. That bridge is privately owned by the Detroit International Bridge Co. and works with the CBP to provide security for the structure and an investigation is underway in that incident as well.
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