Police: Man died after jump from Route 28 bridge over Buffalo Creek
A Buffalo Township man jumped to his death on Wednesday from the Route 28 bridge over Buffalo Creek.
Butler County Coroner William F. Young III identified the man as Frederick Swartz, 55, of Hepler Road. His death was ruled a suicide. The incident on Wednesday marks at least the fifth apparent suicide from the bridge since 2008.
State police Sgt. William Myers said the man apparently jumped after parking his work truck on the narrow shoulder of the road midway across the northbound lanes of the 250-foot-tall bridge. The span straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties.
Troopers talked with several eyewitnesses who pulled over on the bridge near the man's utility truck and waited for police to arrive just after noon.
Searchers on the Butler-Freeport Community Trail below the bridge reported finding the man's body at about 12:15 p.m., police said.
Troopers later called for medics to help some of the man's family members who arrived to get the horrible news.
Troopers examined the interior of the truck, which apparently belonged to Youngblood Paving and Excavating of Wampum, Beaver County.
A company spokeswoman said she couldn't comment, and the owners weren't available Wednesday afternoon.
Police and emergency responders from Armstrong and Butler counties were dispatched. The bridge is between the Sarver (Exit 17) and Slate Lick exits (Exit 18).
Young and others drove about a half-mile up the Butler-Freeport Community Trail to reach the man's body.
Swartz was a long-time employee of the former Risch's Supermarket, along Route 356 in Buffalo Township.
He was chairman of the Buffalo Township Municipal Authority for about 18 years.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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.