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Police: Man died after jump from Route 28 bridge over Buffalo Creek

Eric Felack | Trib Total Media - A state trooper peers over the edge of the high-level Route 28 bridge above Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>A state trooper peers over the edge of the high-level Route 28 bridge above Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media - A state trooper peers over the edge of the high-level Route 28 bridge above Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>A state trooper peers over the edge of the high-level Route 28 bridge above Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media - State police investigate the high-level Route 28 bridge over Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>State police investigate the high-level Route 28 bridge over Buffalo Creek after a man stopped his work truck and leaped to his death on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The bridge straddles the border of Armstrong and Butler counties above the Butler-Freeport Community Trail.

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Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 12:36 p.m.
 

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.

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