Judge Won’t Close Beach Where 3 Died As Sand Gave Way

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey judge is refusing to order the closure of a beach where three people died when the sand gave way beneath them as they walked near the water’s edge.

In a ruling issued Monday, Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez instead directed state and local officials to evaluate safety concerns at the Hereford Inlet beach in North Wildwood.

He dismissed a request from the family of July 2012 victim Brad Smith to immediately order the beach closed.

The judge directed the state Department of Environmental Protection and the city of North Wildwood to take “prompt and timely action” to address safety concerns at the beach.

A lawyer for the Smith family says the ruling endangers future beachgoers. The judge’s ruling doesn’t affect a pending wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Smith’s family.

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