Lewis & Clark Bridge closed during suicide threat

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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The Lewis and Clark Bridge was closed to traffic for about two hours Saturday morning while a man threatened to jump into the Columbia River.

Cowlitz County police were notified at about 7:30 a.m. that a man was standing on the hand railing near the middle of the bridge, threatening to jump, according to a news release from the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office.

Officers reached the scene at 7:45 a.m. and stopped traffic for safety reasons. The bridge spans between Longview, Wash., and Rainier, Ore.

A local emergency mental health counselor who was familiar with the man, identified as a 31-year-old transient, was called to the scene and worked with a Washington State Patrol trooper to talk the man down from the railing, according to police.

The man was taken into custody without incident and transported to a Vancouver hospital for evaluation.

The bridge was reopened to traffic at about 9:30 a.m.

Washington State Patrol, Longview Police, Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Cowlitz County Dive Rescue Team all responded.