Man drowns after jumping off Kenyonville bridge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2015 at 9:49 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – A 67-year-old man drowned after jumping off the Kenyonville Road bridge this evening.

Several fire departments and law enforcement agencies responded to the recovery effort. The man was found at 8:43 p.m. near the two boats at the far right in the top photo, the west side of the bridge on Oak Orchard River.

The man is from Cincinnati and was in town with friends for a charter fishing trip, one of his friends said. The man had been drinking and went for a walk down the bridge. He was staying with four other friends at the Lake Alice Cottages by the bridge.

Several teen-agers were out on the bridge in late afternoon and early evening, jumping into the Oak Orchard River. The man’s friends thought he was just going for a walk on the bridge. But then he jumped from the bridge.

“I don’t know why,” one of his friends said.

The bridge is a popular spot for people, mostly teen-agers, to jump. The water is about 20 feet deep near the bridge.

A 9-1-1 call went out and firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 7:18 p.m.

The bridge is a popular spot for teen-agers during the summer, neighbors said. One woman drove by the bridge at 4 p.m. today and she said there were about 15 teens on the bridge, jumping off.

“We need more police patrols,” she said.

There is signage warning people to not swim or dive, but neighbors said the teens do anyway.

“This should put a scare into the kids,” a neighbor said. “If one of them slipped on the guard rail and hit their head, they’d be gone.”

The man from Cincinnati and his friends had a big day on a charter boat, catching several big Chinook salmon, one of the friends said. They had planned to go to a casino in Niagara Falls tonight, before boarding their plane for home tomorrow.

One of the visiting fishermen instead called the wife of the man who drowned, telling her about the tragic death of her husband.

Firefighters and law enforcement officers tried to keep onlookers from getting on the bridge.

Firefighters searched both sides of the bridge until the man was found about 90 minutes after he drowned.