Man Survives Jump from Washington Bridge

A 23-year-old Dartmouth man was taken to Rhode Island hospital this morning after being pulled from the waters of the Seekonk River by East Providence rescue crews, after jumping off the I-195 Washington Bridge.

East Providence Police lieutenant Ray Blinn said the odds of surviving a plunge from the Washington Bridge are “fairly slim”.

The bottom of the river is covered by tons of debris, old piers, rusted metal, and industrial waste. Blinn said the man somehow managed to miss all of the debris and landed in a clear section of the river.

The situation happened around 5 a.m. this morning. An East Providence police sergeant, who was working a detail nearby, was approached by the man's friend, 23, of Fall River, who was yelling that his friend may have jumped off the Washington Bridge.

Police began searching the area immediately, and found the man in the water. He was pulled onto a rescue boat to safety, and taken to a Rhode Island hospital.

Apparently, police say, the two men were leaving Providence after a night out. The man who jumped asked his friend to stop the car, because he said he was going to be sick. So, the driver pulled over on the eastbound section of the Washington Bridge.

When his friend stopped the car, the man got out and began jumping up and down on the roof of the car, saying he was going to jump.

Shortly thereafter, he did.

Police say it is not clear why the man jumped into the water, only that it is incredible he survived.

The water in the area of the Seekonk River where the man jumped is only 12-20 feet deep.

There was only one witness, the man who was driving the car. No one else on the highway stopped to help, police say.

The incident remains under investigation by East Providence police.