Road spikes stop man’s backhoe joyride on famed Florida Keys bridge

Officials say a 59-year-old man took a backhoe on a joyride across the famous Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys.

Carl Joseph Blahnik
Carl Joseph Blahnik, Monroe County Jail booking photo & sheriff’s office evidence photo

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — 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.

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

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.

Online jail records show that Blahnik was charged with reckless driving with damage to property; fleeing with disregard of safety to persons or property; obstruction: dig up or disturb any street or highway; failure to register a motor vehicle; knowingly driving while license suspended or revoked; littering: 15 to 500 lbs; wielding a deadly weapon without intent to kill and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

Carl Joseph Blahnik, Monroe County Jail booking photo & sheriff's office evidence photo
Carl Joseph Blahnik, Monroe County Jail booking photo & sheriff’s office evidence photo
Photo credit: Lt. Derek Paul, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Photo credit: Lt. Derek Paul, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Carl Joseph Blahnik, Monroe County Jail booking photo
Carl Joseph Blahnik, Monroe County Jail booking photo

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