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Man jumps off South Side Bridge

Rusty Marks
Charleston police and paramedics pulled a man who jumped off the South Side Bridge out of the Kanawha River on Friday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston police and paramedics pulled a man from the Kanawha River on Friday after he jumped off the South Side Bridge in an apparent suicide attempt.

Lt. Scott Blankenship, of the Charleston Police Department, said the 39-year-old man was being treated at the Prestera Center in Charleston around 9 a.m. when he walked away from the treatment facility. He said Prestera staff called Metro 911 to report that the man was walking around and apparently suicidal.

A witness saw the man walk into the middle of the South Side Bridge and strip off his shoes and sweatpants before jumping into the water at about 9:30 a.m., Blankenship said. He said the man was able to swim to the south side of the river, where police and paramedics on MacCorkle Avenue were able to climb down the riverbank and pull him from the water, where he was clinging to the rocks.

Paramedics covered the man with a sheet and put him on a medical backboard to help pull him up the steep bank. He was then put on a gurney, wheeled to a waiting ambulance and taken to CAMC General Hospital for treatment.

"He was alert and talking when they took him," Blankenship said. "There were no obvious injuries."

The man's condition was unavailable Friday afternoon.


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