Boy who jumped off I-205 bridge Thursday still unnamed, not found

School officials have possible name, seeking parent

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

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A teenager who was seen jumping off the Interstate 205 bridge late Thursday morning remained unidentified late Friday afternoon and had not been found.

Carol Fenstermacher, spokeswoman for Evergreen Public Schools, said officials have a possible name, but can’t release it until it’s confirmed.

School officials had not been able to contact the parent who has custody of the boy, Fenstermacher said about 4:45 p.m. Friday.

Officials feel they can’t release the boy’s name without a parent’s permission.

Officials think the boy was a Mountain View High School student who had not yet turned 18.

In case that is true, officials on Thursday arranged for specially trained school counselors to be at Mountain View between 10 a.m. and noon Friday, for students who wanted to stop by.

Friday was a day off for students but teachers were at school training in an in-service day.

Five or six students came to the school for counseling Friday, Fenstermacher said.

The counselors are with the School Mobilization and Response Team, who are specially trained to deal with grief and other emotional situations.

No body had been reported found in the river, officials said late Friday afternoon.

Emergency responders in boats searched the Columbia River downstream of Interstate 205 on Thursday after a person was seen jumping from the bridge.

The incident was reported about 10:20 a.m. Thursday. A caller to 911 saw a young man jump from the bridge into the Columbia River. It was also witnessed by some fishermen on a boat in the river.

The scene of the incident is along the west shoulder of Interstate 205 southbound near the Washington shore.

A caller to The Columbian reported that he saw a young man with a backpack walking along the roadway about 10:15 a.m. He appeared to be sending a text message, the caller said.

The person left a black backpack behind on the bridge.

Vancouver Fire Capt. Scott Willis said boats from the Vancouver and Portland fire departments, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard searched Thursday but were unable to find the person.

WSP is leading the investigation because the incident happened on an Interstate bridge on the Washington side.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.

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