Man In 20s Survives Clark Bridge Jump, Stunned, But Swims To Safety
ALTON - A man in his 20s survived what Alton Fire Chief Jesse Jemison estimated as a 75-foot jump from the Clark Bridge around 2 p.m. Monday.
Chief Jemison said the man appeared to walk onto the bridge, then jumped closer to the Missouri side on the part of the bridge facing the Melvin Price Lock and Dam area.
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Chief Jemison said he only recalled one other incident in his long career where a person who jumped off the bridge into the Mississippi River survived. He said the person who jumped appeared to be having some "personal issues" and was "a very lucky young man" to survive such a leap.
Alton Police's Mike Morelli and Alton Deputy Fire Chief Matt Fischer and other officers and first responders were quick to the scene. Fischer did a fit check on the bridge jump survivor, who appeared to have some difficulty with his chest and possibly ribs, but the man was able to walk, Jemison said. The man was transported to an area hospital for additional treatment.
The Alton Fire Boat was dispatched by the AFD to work in the rescue effort. However, the boat suffered some engine damage to one of its two engines because of the low water levels in the vicinity. At the Alton City Council meeting, Chief Jemison brought up the fact that the fire boat now has only one functional engine and he hoped that the other can be fixed with summer just around the corner.
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