After 90 mph chase and crash, trooper tackles suicidal man on bridge

After 90 mph chase and crash, trooper tackles suicidal man on bridge

NEWPORT, Ore. - A suicidal man reportedly intent on jumping off the Yaquina Bay Bridge sped away from police at 90 mph in heavy Fourth of July traffic before abandoning his car and running towards the bridge railing, police said.

An Oregon State Police trooper tackled the man before he reached the edge of the bridge.

The man was arrested and jailed for reckless driving and eluding police, and police arranged for him to undergo a mental health evaluation.

The incident started when a 911 caller reported the Damascus, Ore., man was en route to Newport with the intent of jumping off the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

A police officer spotted the man's car at 11:33 p.m. southbound on Highway 101 toward the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Two officers tried to stop the car to check on the man's welfare.

After initially stopping, the man sped off. The officers gave chase at speeds that reached 90 mph but terminated the pursuit due to the speeds and heavy Fourth of July traffic.

At 11:47 p.m., a Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff saw the same vehicle making a U-turn on the Alsea Bay Bridge in Waldport. He notified officers that the vehicle was now northbound on Hwy 101 back towards Newport.

Just after midnight, Newport officers and a state trooper started following the vehicle on Hwy 101. The man's car slid to a sudden stop and was hit from behind by a state police car that couldn't stop in time.

The man bolted from his vehicle and ran toward the bridge railing, police said, but was tackled by the state trooper before he reached the edge of the bridge.