CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A man jumped to his death Friday morning along the interstate in Charleston according to police.
Lt. Shawn Williams said the man had pulled off I-64/I-77 south near the Leon Sullivan Way exit at just before 8 a.m. Charleston police officer Matt Hill was dispatched to the scene to check on the situation. Williams said Hill established a conversation with the man and noticed something wasn’t right. Officer Hill then offered to follow the man to work and the man agreed.
“The man went to turn his back and he essentially leaped over the interstate bridge. The officer grabbed a hold of him and tried as heroically as he could to hold on him and simply couldn’t maintain a grip. The man fell below to the railroad tracks,” Lt. Williams said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officer Hill suffered several scratches on his arms.
“His arms are pretty tore where he was drug over the concrete barrier,” Lt. Williams said. “One, we’re lucky he didn’t get pulled over as well, but again the fact that he tried desperately the save the guy’s life is pretty heroic.”
Officer Hill is a military veteran who served a few tours of duty in the Middle East.
Police are investigating what may have contributed to the man’s decision to take his own life. The jump happened almost in the same exact spot as an April 2012 jump by a Putnam County man that claimed his life.
Lt. Williams said Friday’s victim is from the local area.
“It’s a tragic end to this victim’s life but if someone is intent on doing that it’s almost impossible to stop,” he said.