A young mother died of severe head trauma after she fell off a bridge at Interstate 385 and U.S. 276, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office said Monday.
Jessica Nicole Smith, 29, fell off the bridge between Mauldin and Simpsonville while trying to help someone involved in a crash. The manner of death was ruled accidental following an autopsy Monday, Coroner Parks Evans said.
The incident occurred about 1:45 a.m. Saturday. Smith, who had a son, was a passenger in a vehicle when she saw a collision at I-385 and U.S. 276, the Coroner’s Office said. According to witnesses, Smith got into the bed of a truck looking for victims and didn’t find anyone.
Smith then leaned over the edge of the bridge calling out for someone, the Coroner’s Office said. Authorities believe she heard a voice and placed one leg over the bridge, then another leg, Evans said.
She thought the ground was close but fell 23 feet and landed on an asphalt area near the abutment of the bridge, the Coroner’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating Smith’s death.
The Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck involving the driver of the truck. No other vehicles were involved.
“He hit the bridge and was ejected from his vehicle and went over the edge of the bridge,” Evans said.
The driver of the truck landed in the emergency lane of 276, the Coroner’s Office said. He was transported to the hospital, Evans said.