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Portsia Smith covers Louisa County crime and news.

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Spotsy man dies after bridge jump


A Spotsylvania County man is dead after police say he dared his friend to jump off of a bridge in Louisa County.

Detective Mark Stanton of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said the 55-year-old victim and a 28-year-old man, also from Spotsylvania, were driving around for about four hours on Tuesday.

Stanton said both men had been drinking.

Around 5 p.m., the 55-year-old driver parked the vehicle near the Moody Town Canal Bridge, which is over Lake Anna.

The two men walked to the center of the bridge, not far from where Stanton said there are two signs that

Moody Town Road bridge

prohibit jumping or fishing from the bridge.

“The older male climbed up on the guardrail and challenged the younger male to ‘come on, let’s jump—on the count of three.’”

He said the older man counted to three, but neither of them jumped.

The second time, he counted to three, the older man took the 35-foot jump, but the younger man stayed on the bridge, Stanton said.

Time passed and the younger man didn’t see his friend come up to the surface. He later spotted him on the other side of the bridge motionless.

The younger man told police he went back to the eastern side of the bridge and climbed down the embankment.

“He waded out into the water waist-deep and pulled his friend to shore,” Stanton said. “He saw that his friend wasn’t breathing and tried doing CPR.”

Police say the bridge is about 35 feet above water.

Rescue personnel arrived within seven minutes after he called 911. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The man, whose identity has not been released pending notification of kin, was pronounced dead at 5:27 p.m.

The Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond has not given an official cause of death yet, but police are saying the man suffered from cardiac arrest.

Friends described the man as a good swimmer.

Stanton said there was no external trauma noted and no foul play is suspected.

Police hope that this tragedy reminds citizens about the dangers of bridge-jumping.

Portsia Smith:  540/374-5419

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