Officials search for man who jumped into the Broad River Tuesday afternoon

akflanagan@thestate.comApril 22, 2014 

— The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Columbia Fire Department are searching for a man who jumped off an I-20 bridge into the Broad River Tuesday afternoon.

“We got a 911 call about 1 p.m. that a man jumped off the bridge,” Captain Chris Cowan, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said. “Deputies saw him in the water and several went down the bank and under the bridge.”

The man floated about 1,000 yards from the bridge, went under the water and has not been seen since, Cowan said.

Cowan said oficers found papers and an ID in the man’s car, but they do not know if that information is connected with the man they saw in the water.

Cowan said deputies and a K9 officer are searching the banks up and down the river, but there is no evidence the man got out of the water.

“The airplane is searching from above, and we have boats on the water,” Captain Cowan said. “The water is very swift and murky, which makes the serach very complex.”

Traffic is flowing, however, one lane off I-20 at the bridge remains blocked.

Check back with The State for more information as it becomes available.

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