Second jump from Tarentum Bridge proves fatal
Authorities say the Tarentum man who jumped to his death from the Tarentum Bridge on Wednesday night escaped from a mental health treatment facility in West Deer about an hour before.
It was the second time in four years that the man jumped from the same bridge, police said.
Greggory Felton, 28, climbed out a window at the facility at about 10 p.m. Wednesday and walked to the bridge, said Allegheny County Homicide Detective Sgt. Scott Scherer. He said he didn't know the name of the facility. West Deer Police would not comment.
Tarentum police Chief William Vakulick said they believe Felton is the same man who survived a May 2009 jump from the bridge.
In that noontime incident, Felton told rescuers that he was thrill seeking when he suddenly ran from the pedestrian walkway, across four lanes of traffic and jumped over the side.
Felton wasn't injured and climbed from the water on his own.
Police say Felton's jump on Wednesday appears to have been a suicide.
Scherer noted that Felton had tried to commit suicide several times in the past.
“We have video that shows him alone, so foul play is not suspected,” Scherer said.
The Valley News Dispatch does not report apparent suicides unless they occur in a public area.
Felton is believed to have jumped from the middle of the downriver side of the bridge, which has a low wall and no fencing.
Ross Snyder of Tarentum said he was fishing on the pier at the Tarentum boat launch when he heard a splash and then someone yelling for help.
Snyder said he tried to get Felton to swim to shore so Snyder could throw him rope that Snyder keeps in his tackle box.
Felton was found unresponsive in the water shortly before 11 p.m., about 15 minutes after witnesses called 911, officials said.
A tugboat captain spotted Felton and aimed a floodlight on him.
“One of the things that worked well for us was that we had good communication with commercial traffic in the area,” said Brad James, deputy chief of Eureka Fire Rescue.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office has not determined a cause of death. Toxicology tests are pending.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Apollo to improve safety
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- PennDOT, Pa. Game Commission give falcons new nest in Tarentum
- Record-breaking temps could make February the coldest one since 1979
- Oakmont hit-run probed
- Apollo targets owners who fail to maintain vacant properties
- Leechburg man charged with molesting girls, watching child pornography
- Snow sculptors have a ball with Iceburgh, Einstein
- Family, friends still seek answers 30 years after Winfield child vanished
- Mia Z (Zanotti) of Hyde Park advances on NBC’s ‘The Voice’
- Student suicide brings issue of bullying to fore in New Kensington-Arnold