Man rescued from Kiski River after jump from Apollo Bridge
A man who escaped from an ambulance jumped from the Leonard C. Miller Bridge between Westmoreland and Armstrong counties on Sunday and was recovered alive from the Kiski River.
State police said Joshua Pastrnak, 30, of North Huntingdon escaped about 10:20 a.m. from an ambulance en route to the Clarion Psychiatric Center for a mental health evaluation. He had been involuntarily committed to Westmoreland Regional Hospital when North Huntingdon police arrested him on Saturday, and accused him of violating a protection-from-abuse order, state police Lt. Tom Dubovi said.
Charges relating to that violation had not been filed. North Huntingdon police could not be reached for comment.
State police Trooper Thomas Karlo said the Mutual Aid EMS crew transporting Pastrnak came to a stop when he began making attempts to escape as they crossed the river on what is commonly referred to as the Apollo Bridge. After exiting the ambulance, Karlo said, Pastrnak climbed atop the north ledge on the Apollo side of the bridge and threatened to jump.
A supervisor from the Hempfield-based Mutual Aid EMS declined to comment.
Five police departments responded to the incident and had the bridge shut down by 10:35 a.m.
After about 90 minutes of speaking with police, Pastrnak jumped backward from the ledge, flipping in the air and landing on his side from a fall of about 55 feet. An Armstrong County swift water rescue team waiting about 25 feet downriver pulled him out and brought him to the Apollo riverbank just before noon.
He was unconscious but breathing during the rescue, Dubovi said. His injuries did not appear life-threatening, he said.
An emergency crew from Vandergrift Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 stabilized his neck and loaded him into an ambulance, and he regained consciousness. The ambulance took him to a landing zone set up at a nearby football field, where he was flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Dubovi said.
A condition report at the hospital was unavailable.
Aside from a broken leg, Karlo said, the nature and extent of Pastrnak's injuries were unknown. He will not be charged or cited for the incident.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or 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.
- Red Wings rally, shock Penguins in overtime
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Report linking field surface to cancer elicits Mt. Lebanon protest
- Man shot, killed after leaving Elliott bar early Friday
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Former Ligonier Township supervisor accused of abusing position, viewing porn on the job
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- House has Pitt defense trending in right direction
- Federal grand jury reviewing Liquor Control Board violations, sources tell Trib
- Missing Southwest Greensburg man found dead at crash site in Bell