Woman hinted at suicide before jumping off DeKalb Street Bridge

NORRISTOWN – The woman who jumped off the DeKalb Street Bridge Saturday on the way home from the hospital with her husband reportedly hinted to him in the car that she was considering suicide, according to a Norristown police report.

The 33-year-old Norristown woman, who lives with her husband in the 1000 block of Markley Street, leaped over the bridge railing and into the Schuylkill River just before 6:46 a.m., but was rescued by the Norristown Fire Department without life-threatening injuries.

The woman’s husband, who is 50, told police he was driving her home from Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, where she had been admitted after reportedly “drinking too much alcohol” the night before, according to the report.

The man claimed his wife was “talking crazy” on the ride home and asked him to make sure her children would be taken care of, which led him to believe she was contemplating suicide. However, when he asked her if she was considering killing herself, she said “no.”

When they reached Bridgeport, the woman asked her husband to stop at Wawa and run inside to get her something, but he refused her request and suggested they stop at Dunkin’ Donuts instead.

As the car crossed the bridge, the woman asked her husband to pull over because she felt nauseated enough to vomit, according to authorities. The man stopped the car near the Norristown end of the span, which connects Bridgeport and Norristown, and she got out of the vehicle, ran to the bridge railing and jumped over the side.

As rescuers arrived at the scene shortly after the plunge, Norristown Police Officer Michael Bishop saw the woman about 40 feet below the bridge deck in water two to three feet deep. She was conscious and clinging to a rock in the river that kept her from being swept away in the current.

When Bishop yelled down to her, the woman said she could not feel her feet. Firefighters eventually pulled her from the water with a rope.

She was taken to Mercy Suburban Hospital and transferred to Abington Hospital for further treatment. The woman had a broken ankle but reportedly suffered no other injuries, according to authorities.

The victim’s husband told police he planned to arrange to have his wife committed at Montgomery County Emergency Service, a behavioral-health center in Norristown, according to the report.

Reporter Rebecca Savedow contributed to this story.


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