Kiwi dies after US bridge jump goes wrong

A Napier man has died after jumping off a bridge popular with thrill-seekers near Lake Zoar, in...
A Napier man has died after jumping off a bridge popular with thrill-seekers near Lake Zoar, in Connecticut. Photo / Google Maps
A Napier man has died in the US after jumping off a popular bridge with thrill-seekers near Lake Zoar, in Connecticut.

Nicholas Porter (30) died last Saturday (local time) after he didn't resurface from a 6-metre jump from a steel span bridge over a stream that empties into Lake Zoar, Sergeant Brian Van Ness said.

Police and fire crews arrived on the scene just after 4pm and found Porter, who was unconscious, along the shore, the Republican-American reports.

Police said witnesses pulled him out of the water before responders tried to resuscitate him, but Porter remained unresponsive.

Porter, who originally lived in Napier, was employed as an auto body technician at Fairfield Collision Center in Fairfield, a representative for the company confirmed to the Republican-America.

The company said they were shocked and saddened by the news of his death.

Since his death, the community have left bouquets of flowers and pink carnations at the foot of the bridge.

A local told the Republican-American the bridge was a popular destination for young thrill-seekers who often jump off the side into the shallow water

Speaking to Stuff, Steve Bingham said he spoke to a local who labelled the incident "an accident waiting to happen".

He also raised the possibility of a lawsuit resulting from Porter's death, potentially involving the town of Southbury and the bridge's owner FirstLight Power.

The area is located between Oakdale and Berkshire roads near Exit 13 of Interstate 84.

A woman who lives nearby told the publisher that the water under the bridge was especially shallow this summer due to low rainfall.

Porter's death has sparked a debate on a local Facebook page, where residents have commented that the area has been a problem for years with bridge-jumping, littering and parking issues.

They said this year they have seen an increase in drivers visiting the area, and an attempt to install barriers to block off parking had failed.



Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter