Woman calls 911 after 'smelling 300-year-old Bible', closes Mathews Bridge

Hazmat team, bomb squad called when driver thought package made her sick

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor, Carianne Luter - Social Media Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Mathews Bridge reopened Friday afternoon in both directions after a woman had a "medical episode" that she thought might have resulted from a package she had just picked up, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Inside the package was a 300-year-old Bible that she had purchased over the internet. 

Officials said that as she was traveling across the Mathews Bridge, she stated she smelled something coming from the package and then she "felt nauseous."

She said she felt a shooting pain into her lungs. She pulled over and called JFRD.

The incident started at 1 p.m. when the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responded to a distressed driver.

According to police, the woman said she thought her condition might have been related to a package, so firefighters backed off and JFRD's hazardous materials team, JSO's bomb squad and detectives arrived to check out the vehicle and the package.

Police said all agencies cleared the package as safe and it's unclear whether the woman's medical condition was related to the package.

The Mathews Bridge was closed for about 90 minutes as a precaution, police said.


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