Man survives bridge jump into Ohio River

Published 9:13 pm Sunday, May 29, 2011

Told police he did it just as way to have fun

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A man who told authorities he thought it would be “fun” to jump off a bridge did exactly that Sunday afternoon — and lived to tell about it.

Huntington Police Sgt. Brian Lucas said the Westmoreland man — whose name, age and address were not available as of press time — jumped from the Robert C. Byrd Bridge at approximately 2:30 p.m. Once in the water he was picked up by a private boat. Although he was not injured, he was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

“This was some guy who said he had always wanted to jump and he went and did it,” Lucas said. “He didn’t have a mark on him. I’m surprised because that was quite a fall.”

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Lucas said he was not sure if the man had arranged to have someone with a boat stand by to pick him up after his jump or if a boater not connected to him played Good Samaritan.

Lucas said the man was not intoxicated and was “quite articulate.”

The jumper was given a ticket for loitering.

The incident brought 8 to 10 Huntington emergency service workers to the riverfront, including a fire truck, two paramedics and two police officers.

Lucas said before people embark on something like this they should think of the bigger picture: How their actions affect others.

“My big concern was the fire department. He tied up a truck and a whole crew,” Lucas said. “He not only put his own life at risk but first responders and potentially other citizens by tying up emergency services personnel.”