Man jumps from Bay Bridge, alive when rescuers reach him

July 30, 2012|By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun

A man jumped from the highest spot on the Bay Bridge early Monday afternoon and was pulled — alive — from the water by Natural Resources Police.

The unidentified man was flown by State Police helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. There is no word on his condition.

The incident happened shortly after 12:30 p.m. on the two-lane eastbound span.

A witness said a man dressed in shorts, sneakers and a red T-shirt who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s was standing by a silver hatchback car in the left lane that was closed for construction.

Rich Mason, a lighting and set designer from Richmond, Va., said the car, with its hazard lights flashing, was pulled over when a yellow Maryland transportation vehicle pulled in behind to assist. The vehicles were at the highest part of the span, about 186 feet above the Chesapeake Bay.

"I thought it was a disabled vehicle, an engine overheating," said Mason, who was a passenger in a vehicle in the right lane that was being driven by his father.

Mason said the man "looked back at the vehicle, put his right foot on the guardrail and pushed off. He leaped, leaped off."

"He didn't appear to show any emotion. I don't know if he made eye contact with the Maryland official. There was no time to react," Mason said. "It was the weirdest thing. It was unbelievable."

Two Natural Resources Police patrol boats from Sandy Point State Park were on the scene within nine minutes and pulled the man from the water.

"He was alive when he left our care," Sgt. Brian Albert said.

The original two-lane Bay Bridge opened 60 years ago Monday.

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