Police: Woman hospitalized after jumping from bridge


VERO BEACH — A woman who jumped from the Merrill P. Barber Bridge Thursday was rushed to the hospital after officers pulled her from the water within minutes, police said.

The identity of the woman – in her 60’s – was not released. Police were working to notify the woman’s next of kin, Vero Beach police spokesman Master Officer Darrell Rivers said.

The distance from the top of the Merrill P. Barber Bridge to the water below is at least 65 feet, police said.

Rivers said the woman parked her vehicle on the westbound side of the bridge about 9 a.m. Thursday. Several witnesses told police the woman got out of her vehicle and jumped in to the Indian River Lagoon.

Rivers said two officers used boats – one from a citizen and the other from the city marina – to locate the woman. Within three to five minutes, officers pulled the woman from the water and immediately began trying to revive her, Rivers said.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, Rivers said. The woman’s condition was not immediately available.

The incident briefly blocked one westbound lane on the bridge for about 35 minutes, Rivers said.

Rivers said detectives were inspecting the woman’s vehicle. The vehicle will be towed to a secure compound for further investigation, Rivers said.

The make and model of the vehicle was not released.

There have been previous incidents of people being rescued after jumping from bridges in Vero Beach.

In Feb. 2012, fire rescue crews rescued a 73-year-old woman who jumped from the Merrill P. Barber Bridge and was found clinging to the bridge structure. In June 2017, Vero Beach police grabbed a man in mid-air after he jumped from the Alma Lee Loy Bridge.

No further details were immediately available. 

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