Intoxicated man survives 200′ leap from I-5 Pit River Bridge

REDDING, Calif., — An intoxicated man was pulled alive from Lake Shasta after leaping from the Pit River Bridge along Interstate 5 on Saturday afternoon, July 31. The man had called 911 and reported he parked his SUV nearby and was on the bridge shortly before he apparently jumped into the water some 200 feet below, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log and official radio traffic overheard at the time. 

The Pit River Bridge is a double-decker style upon which I-5 crosses above and train tracks cross below. Due to confusion from the man’s initial call, it was not immediately known if he leapt from the interstate or the railroad tracks that run beneath the highway, and was part of the Shasta County Sheriff’s ongoing investigation.


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CHP and other emergency personnel, including members of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit, were alerted to the crisis around 1:12 p.m. after an intoxicated man called 911, telling emergency dispatchers he was on the bridge and intended to kill himself by jumping into the lake below.

Boating Safety Unit deputies who began searching the area of the bridge found the victim in the water and were able to pull him onto their vessel about an hour after the man’s initial call was received by CHP. 

The man, described as being in his 30s, was first transported by boat to a waiting ambulance and was then rushed by ground ambulance to Mercy in Redding as a Trauma Alert patient in unknown condition.

Paramedics also reported the man was heavily intoxicated and could only tell rescuers his name, but could not answer any other questions, according to radio traffic

The full extent of his injuries was not immediately available and his status has not been updated.

Contacted for more information today, a SHASCOM representative advised CHP was handling the investigation; however, CHP Officer Morton later told SCNS the case was being investigated by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.

As of this article, SCSO had not released any details regarding the incident.

Contact the writer:

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.

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