Bridge Jump Proves Deadly
During my college days back in West Virginia I spent spring, summer and fall weekends working as a white-water raft guide. One of the rivers I guided was the New River, a great thread of water that streams, leaps and bounds through some of the most gorgeous Appalachian Mountain terrain.
It also courses under the New River Gorge Bridge, the world's second-largest single-span bridge. Located 876 feet above the water within the New River Gorge National River, the bridge is an incredible lure to BASE jumpers, folks who think nothing of parachuting off tall buildings, tall cliffs, and, in this instance, tall bridges.
Once a year the National Park Service, which manages the river, gives in to BASE jumpers' eagerness to leap off the span.
Well, this year that day -- this past Saturday-- proved deadly, as a 66-year-old man died when his parachute failed to open until he was just about 25 feet above the river. You can read details of the accident here. The death was the first recorded at the event since 1987.