Acting on a report of canoeists who had jumped from a river bridge on Lower Valley Pike last week, Mad River Township Fire and EMS crews responded quickly, but discovered that the jumpers had returned safely to the canoe livery soon afterward.
Crews were dispatched to easternmost Mad River bridge on Lower Valley Pike just before 5 p.m. last Wednesday, May 28 after a caller said they had seen someone jump into the water from the road bridge. They described the jumpers as a woman with dark hair and tattoos and a man wearing blue jeans.
Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Mad River Adventures canoe livery, from whom the jumpers had rented their boats, and spoke to them about not being permitted to jump off of bridges. One man in the group was arrested on an outstanding warrant for breaking out a window of his former girlfriend’s, but the others were released without incident.
Mad River Township Fire Chief Tracy Young terminated the rescue mission upon learning of the boaters’ safe return. Township Fire/EMS members Kyle Bussey, Eric Stacy, and Kurt Werner deployed the township’s rescue boat at the confluence of Mad River and Buck Creek near Ohio Edison and traveled downstream to the livery as a precaution, but did not encounter anyone requiring assistance.
Deron Castle, manager of the canoe livery, said bridge jumpers cause him nothing but trouble through the summer season, and although his staff goes to great lengths to warn against the dangers involved, many boaters cannot resist the temptation. The former Aaron’s Canoe and Kayak Center, which occupied the same building as Mad River Adventures, went out of business after being sued by the family of a man who was hit and killed by a train while attempting to jump off a bridge in August of 2008.