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Man who survived Sunshine Skyway jump expected to be released from hospital

ST. PETERSBURG —A 21-year-old man who jumped off the Sunshine Skyway Thursday night was in stable condition and expected to be released from the hospital Friday, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokesman said.

The man could receive psychiatric treatment under the Baker Act, so authorities could not release the man's name due to medical privacy laws, said spokesman Larry McKinnon.

Authorities said the man was arguing with his girlfriend in a car when he asked her to stop, said something about needing to relieve himself and jumped off the bridge, authorities said.

The girlfriend called 911 from atop the bridge's center span about 8:40 p.m.

Firefighters rescued the man about 9:30 p.m. and he was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with minor injuries. The fall from the highest point of the center span is nearly 200 feet. Someone falling from the top reaches a speed of about 75 mph and hits the water in 3.5 seconds.

More than 130 people have died jumping from the bridge since it opened in 1987. About a dozen others survived.

Officials with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which has jurisdiction over that part of the bridge, were still investigating Friday.

Man who survived Sunshine Skyway jump expected to be released from hospital 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 4:21pm]
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