“Experienced cliff/bridge jumper” from Nevada dies after leap from Lake Britton Bridge
BURNEY, Calif. — Authorities say an “experienced cliff/bridge jumper” from the Reno, Nevada area died after making a dangerous leap from the Lake Britton Bridge off Highway 89, plummeting more than 60 feet into the cold water of Lake Britton below.
The victim’s body was discovered several hours later by Shasta County Sheriff’s Dive Team members in 37 feet of water, according to officials.
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On Wednesday afternoon, July 28, at around 4:15 p.m., deputies assigned to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Burney Division and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene after receiving reports of a possible drowning, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sergeant Renfer has since reported.
The 911 caller, a friend of the victims who was filming when the victim made the fatal leap, told emergency dispatchers that the victim had jumped from the Lake Britton bridge and had not resurfaced. When officials arrived on scene they learned the victim had been under the water and not seen for more than 30 minutes.
Officials say a Reno, Nevada man, described as an experienced cliff-bridge jumper, died after plummeting more than 60 feet into Lake Britton, after diving from the Lake Britton Bridge along Hwy 89, yesterday afternoon. His body was recovered several hours later.
With assistance from a California Highway Patrol helicopter, deputies began searching the lake’s shoreline and surrounding area to see if the victim had made it from the water, but they were unable to locate him.
Based on the information and circumstances the Shasta County Dive Team was summoned and responded to assist in the search. Their search in the area underneath the bridge was hampered by the lake’s dark and muddy water, according to Renfer.
Nearly three hours into their search, at around 7:45 p.m., Dive Team members located the victim’s lifeless body and brought his body to the shore, where it was turned over to Shasta County Coroner’s Office officials.
The man’s name has not yet been released pending notification of his family.
“Further investigation revealed … the victim was with a group of friends who had filmed him jumping from the bridge,” Renfer has since explained. “The video showed the victim jump off the bridge and attempt a flipping maneuver before landing awkwardly in the water.”
That video has not been publicly released.
The Lake Britton Bridge where the thrill-seeker made his fatal jump from is within eyesight and just a short distance from a no-longer-used railway bridge that spans Lake Britton and was used for the railroad bridge scene in the classic 1986 film, Stand By Me.
The Sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and no further details have been released.
Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the deadly leap and has not yet provided a statement to authorities is encouraged to contact the Shasta county Sheriff’s Office – Burney division at (530) 245-6540. Callers can refer to incident file number 21S024689 and can remain anonymous.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information develops.
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.