The Recorder – Authorities are looking for a reported jumper at French King Bridge

Posted: 03/29/2022 19:43:32

Modified: 03/29/2022 19:42:37

GILL – National and local police and firefighters were called to the French King Bridge on Tuesday evening to search for a person who may have jumped from the bridge.

sergeant. Jason R. Bassett declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, but confirmed there was a witness. He referred further questions to the Massachusetts State Police, who he said were leading the investigation, assisted by the Gill and Erving police departments.

“They tipped us off and we were called to the bridge,” State Police Officer Christopher Lapointe said, after conducting a search of a silver Hyundai Elantra parked near the bridge.

Lapointe also said the investigation is ongoing and that state police will work primarily with the Gill Police Department.

Greenfield Police also responded to the bridge with their new command post, where it housed a monitoring station for the drone used to scan the river.

Northfield’s dive team was also called in to help, but due to high river flow they were unable to perform dive operations, according to Northfield Fire Chief Floyd “Skip” Dunnell III.

“We helped a bit on the surface (search),” he said, adding that 11 of his divers had been called to the scene.

Dunnell explained that prior to diving operations, water is tested from the pumped hydro storage station at Northfield Mountain. As of Tuesday night, the water was flowing at around 20 to 26,000 cubic feet per second.

“We can dive there at around 8,000 CSF, so it’s actually 2.5 times stronger and faster than what’s diveable,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s a determining factor.”

First responders were last called to the French King Bridge on February 23 to a report of an individual who jumped off the bridge.

Journalist Mary Byrne can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne

Brandon D. James