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MADISON, Ind. – A 23-year-old man leapt from the Milton-Madison Bridge to his death at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12.
Madison Police Chief Yancy Denning said James T. Taulbee of Madison stopped his car on the bridge, got out of his car and jumped over the railing. The bridge is 95 feet above the Ohio River.
Denning said an onlooker who called 911 reportedly tried to stop Taulbee, but could not get to the man in time.
Madison Police Patrolmen Ben McKay and Joe Baker located a person in a boat, who took them on the river to where Taulbee was spotted floating in the water.
The officers pulled Taulbee from the river and brought him to the boat ramp, where King’s Daughters’ Hospital EMS was waiting to assist.
Taulbee was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Police are waiting for a report on the exact cause of Taulbee’s death. Toxicology and other results are expected within two weeks.
Taulbee’s death came just a day after a woman allegedly threatened to jump from the bridge.
In 2009, two men jumped from the bridge and died – the first, in September, was a 51-year-old from Madison and the second, in October, was a 79-year-old from Anderson, Ind.
Asked if he thought incidences of suicide on the bridge may increase when the new bridge is finished – wider, and with a pedestrian walkway – Denning said no.
“The fact of the matter is, if someone is in the mindset to harm themselves, they’re going to find a way,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that this happens; it’s happened in the past, and it happens all over the country.”
Denning said Taulbee’s family said the man gave no indication of being suicidal, or of having depression-related issues. “It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what happened,” he said.
Anyone experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts may call the national suicide hotline, (800) 784-2433 or (800) 273-8255, or call 911 for help.