A man jumped off a bridge and slammed into another man floating on an inner tube in the river below, hurting him seriously. Andy Hill of Missoula, Montana, suffered multiple leg injuries when an unidentified man jumped off the Bandmann Bridge in East Missoula, and landed in his lap.
Hill was floating down Clark Fork River, tethered to his wife who was in another inner tube. The couple passed under the bridge and came out the other side when suddenly, Hill was under the water and in enormous pain, he said. The jumper, who did not mean to cause the accident, crushed Hill’s lower body. The two men came to the surface, and the man pulled Hill to the shore, apologizing profusely. A friend of the man on the shore also helped to get Hill out of the inner tube and they waited with him until emergency responders arrived.
Hill is now in a wheelchair and doctors expect he will stay that way through the rest of the summer, at least. The tips of both of his fibulas were broken, his left femur was cracked and it is possible that both of his ACLs and PCLs, which are ligaments in the knees, are torn. He underwent 22 X-rays, and is waiting for the results of an MRI scan to know the full extent of the damage.
The condition of the other man is not known, though Hill reported that he had complained of back pain.
Jumping from the bridge is prohibited and a sign posted made the rule clear. No legal action has been brought against the bridge jumper, but the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office is recommending a misdemeanor a charge of negligent endangerment.