Area crews search for alleged jumper from Randolph bridge

CHESTER – The report of someone jumping or falling off the Jennings Randolph Bridge Tuesday night was enough to cause an accident, but authorities still don’t know if the report was true.

“We had a witness who seemed quite believable,” Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said. “He came back to the scene and showed us exactly where the man jumped. It was commendable because most people would have just gone about their business.”

West Virginia authorities have been searching the Ohio River since about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. No bodies have been found, and no missing person reports have been issued, Fletcher said.

One river rescue crew with the Chester Volunteer Fire Department was on the river Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Chief John Hissam said.

Hissam said the report was that someone had fallen off the Ohio side of the bridge between Babbs Island and the shoreline.

“All we have to go by is what these people said they saw,” he said.

Chester crews are searching, but not dragging, the river to see “if anything’s floating,” Hissam said.

Chester Police Chief Ken Thorn said his department received no missing person reports, and there was no abandoned vehicle on the bridge.

East Liverpool police responded to an accident on U.S. Route 30 apparently caused by a motorist stopping to watch officers responding to the jumper report.