Last Updated: Jul 8th, 2014 - 14:16:42


Man jumps from bridge
By Staff Reports
Jul 8, 2014, 14:12

JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The underside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge is shown Saturday afternoon, the day after a man jumped into the water.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS – Virginia State Police spent the weekend searching for a man who jumped off a bridge between Colonial Heights and Petersburg trying to get away.

At 5:39 p.m. Friday, Virginia State Police Trooper W.K. Johnson was traveling along the Boulevard in Colonial Heights when he observed an equipment violation on a passing vehicle. The trooper activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The vehicle’s driver refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated, police said.

One minute later as the pursuit made its way south on Route 1, the fleeing vehicle stopped in the middle of the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge between Colonial Heights and Petersburg. Its driver got out of the vehicle, ran to the right side of the bridge and jumped over the railing.

The bridge is approximately 50 feet above the Appomattox River, which was shallow in some parts where the incident occurred and relatively slow moving. Thick trees and brush line both sides of the river.

The trooper immediately called for assistance to search for the male subject. State police Med-Flight helicopter was dispatched to the scene to help search by air. State police, Petersburg Police, and Colonial Heights Police and canine teams searched along the banks of the river. Chesterfield County Fire’s dive team deployed to search the river. Despite extensive search efforts over the course of the next two-and-a-half hours, the subject was not located.

Police say search efforts had to be terminated at dark.

State police divers spent more than nine hours searching the Appomattox River Saturday for the male subject.

The Virginia State Police Search & Recovery Team resumed its search efforts Sunday morning.

At this time the incident remains under investigation.

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