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Friday, January 16, 2009

Strange, Sad News From MO

Here's the Kansas City Star story:

After his vehicle rear-ended a tow truck on a Missouri River bridge Thursday, a man reportedly bolted from the crash scene and jumped off the bridge to his death.

“I need to get to Independence now,” the frantic man said as he got out of his wrecked vehicle and took off on foot, the tow truck driver told Kansas City police.

The man had been driving south on Interstate 435 in Clay County when he hit the tow truck at the north end of the bridge, Police Sgt. Bill Mahoney said.

Both vehicles stopped and the drivers got out.

An off-duty police officer driving home from a training session spotted the man — who was acting strangely, possibly impaired — running from the crash. The officer followed.

When the officer got out of his car and told the man to stop, the man jumped off the edge of the bridge. He fell about 50 feet onto a gravel access road just south of the river, Mahoney said.

Firefighters made their way to the man, who had multiple apparent injuries, and carried him on a spine board to an awaiting ambulance, Kansas City Fire Battalion Chief Joe Vitale said.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The man, thought to be in his 30s, was an Independence resident, police said. His name was not released Thursday afternoon, pending the notification of relatives.

Mahoney said the off-duty officer went to a hospital for treatment of cuts to his hands suffered while trying to reach the victim on the ground.

The tow truck driver was not hurt.

To reach Sara Shepherd, call 816-234-4366 or send e-mail to

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