Man injured leaping off bridge near Moulton Falls

By John Hill, Columbian Metro Team Editor

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A 47-year-old Vancouver man was injured Friday night after jumping from the bridge at Moulton Falls Regional Park into the East Fork of the Lewis River, northeast of Battle Ground.

Emergency crews from Clark County Fire District 13 and North Country EMS responded after receiving a call at 5:57 p.m. Friday about a man who had injured himself jumping off the three-story bridge. Fire Chief Ben Peeler said they found the man in the river, resting on a shelf in shallow water along the shoreline.

The man, whose name was not released, jumped into the deep channel below the bridge, but Peeler said he landed awkwardly in a sitting position. Emergency crews used a rescue boat to reach the man in the river, place him on a backboard and transport him to the shore and an ambulance.

Peeler said the man was conscious and reporting back pain; he was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Though the channel is deep, Peeler said, some rocky shelves do jut out in places posing some hazards. It is illegal to jump from the bridge.

“You’ve got to land in there just right or you can get hurt,” he added. “Every summer we have a couple of people out there who get hurt, and people do drown.”

That potential for drownings and injury is one reason why the department conducts frequent training on water rescue. In fact, Peeler added, the department had recently conducted such training in the same area.

Just last Wednesday, he said, “we trained for that exact same scenario.”