I-24 Bridge Jumper Identified
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The body of a man who jumped from the I-24 Bridge into the Ohio River Tuesday afternoon has been identified as 70-year-old James L. Gurley of the Kevil area of Ballard County.
Several 911 calls were received Tuesday afternoon in reference to reports of a man that had stopped on the I-24 Bridge in the westbound lanes. Witnesses reported that a man had exited his vehicle, crawled over the bridge railing and jumped over the side of the bridge. Emergency responders were immediately dispatched to the bridge.
Emergency rescue boats from the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, McCracken County Emergency Management, the City of Metropolis Illinois, the Paducah Fire Department, and Ballard County Emergency Management responded to the area in an immediate effort to rescue the man.
The Sheriff's Department closed the outside westbound lane of the bridge while they conducted their investigation.
McCracken Sheriff’s deputies and detectives interviewed witnesses at the scene on the bridge. The Paducah Police Department, Massac County Sheriff’s Department, Metropolis Police Department, and Illinois State Police also responded and assisted with traffic control. Gurley's pickup truck was towed from the bridge and placed in evidence at the sheriff’s department.
At around 4:00 p.m. crews aboard the Ballard County EM boat located Gurley approximately half a mile west of the I-24 Bridge. Gurley was deceased at that time. His body was then recovered via the Metropolis Ferry Landing Boat Ramp.
The McCracken County Coroner responded to the scene, took custody of Gurley's body and began an investigation into the cause of death, as well as assisting with the sheriff’s department’s investigation into the events surrounding the event.
The investigation is continuing by the sheriff and coroner's offices.