Man Jumps to His Death From The Murray Baker Bridge

May 17, 2018

Peoria Fire and Rescue Divers recovered the body of the man who jumped from the Murray Baker Bridge Thursday morning.

The unidentified man stopped his westbound car on the Murray Baker Bridge about 7:10, exited on the passenger side, continued to bridge wall and jumped. Three more cars traveling westbound then crashed in a pileup. The series of events snarled I-74 traffic in both directions.

Peoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Rick Morgan says divers were called to the scene. He says initially they could not find the man but recovered his body about 10:30 a.m. “What we do is, we put our sonar in just to kind of identify what is going on at the bottom of the river. Then, whatever image they appear to have, they tend to go in the area just to recover that image."  

Agencies from both sides of the river responded, as well as state police and the department of natural resources. The Army Corps of Engineers also shut down the lock and held barge traffic.

Tazewell County Coroner Brian Foley says because of where the man jumped and was found, his agency is working with state police on the investigation. He says they will release the man’s name after they notify family and that will be sometime Friday morning. Foley says the autopsy is also scheduled for Friday morning in Peoria.