NewsCovering Louisiana


Man jumps into Atchafalaya River Basin from the basin bridge Friday

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-11 22:44:10-04

A man who jumped from the basin bridge into the Atchafalaya River Basin Friday swam and wandered around the area for several hours before being rescued Friday.

Jimmy Jennings of Lafayette can be seen sprinting before jumping off the bridge during a stand still of what was a multi-car crash on the basin bridge.

The man who jumped later posted on Facebook that it was a bad decision, adding that his shoulders are sore and "only alive thanks to his faith and rescuers."

He told KATC that the current was rough.

"When I hit the water, my shoulders went up, and I had to start swimming," Jimmy Jennings of Lafayette told KATC.

Jennings would soon find himself on land where he says he could not see the bridge anymore.

He would then spend about an hour trying to find his way to civilization on a four wheeler.

He told us, he rode around until he realized he was on an island.

"I then took a boat around, and rode it until I ran out of water," he said.

Jennings told us he found a house and tried finding someone for help or a telephone, and ended up trying to find a way to civilization using the boat.

"It was pretty crazy me getting back to shore... where I was at.. I couldn't even see the bridge anymore," he told us.

Finally, police found him.

Jennings said "they all had their guns drawn on me, told me get on the ground, I listened to them. They put me in handcuffs," he says.

Jennings said police brought him to an ambulance so he could be checked out by paramedics.

According to Khory Vaughan, his friend who was with Jennings at the time of the stunt, said Jennings was rescued by Wildlife and Fisheries agents and later arrested, he told WBRZ.

"I was walking and heard officers come behind me with their guns and told me to put my hands up, but I couldn't since I hurt my shoulders from the fall," Jennings said.

Those officers, was of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office.

St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office spokesperson told KATC that Jennings was given several charges.

As for the activities that took place that day, they say, they do not condone anyone jumping off of bridges and putting others in danger.

I-10 West was closed Friday after a 10-vehicle pileup near Butte La Rose.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries was contacted, but have yet to respond to KATC.

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