- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The body of a St. Leonard man, who jumped Tuesday evening from the top of the 140-foot Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge, has not yet been recovered by law enforcement.
Lt. Steve Jones, commander of the Calvert Investigative Team, said at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the driver of a gold Toyota Camry traveling south stopped his vehicle on the highest point of the bridge before getting out, walking around to the front of the car and “throw[ing] himself” over the wall of the jersey barrier.
Witnesses told police they saw a body in the water, and rescue watercraft from the Department of Natural Resources, the Solomons and St. Leonard volunteer fire departments, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and rescue squads from both St. Mary’s and Charles counties searched the Patuxent River “well past the hour of darkness” trying to find the man, whom Jones said was “middle-aged.” Maryland State Police helicopters also flew over the area, he said, but “all search efforts yielded negative results.”
Rescue divers were not called to the scene, Jones said, because “it’s just too dangerous to dive” at night “in those conditions.”
Officials closed the bridge once the incident happened, and a Nixle alert was sent out at 7:27 p.m. stating that the bridge was reopened.
Since the bridge opened in December 1977, 14 people have jumped off the bridge and died, including yesterday’s apparent suicide, and five have jumped and survived, according to Southern Maryland Newspapers accounts.
According to a sheriff’s office press release, further investigation will be conducted and additional search efforts are anticipated. A possible victim identity was determined by investigators, but will not be released until positive identification can be made.
Staff writer Jason Babcock contributed to this report.