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Jump from Ross Island Bridge proves fatal

At 3:09 am on Thursday, May 15, a passing motorist alerted 9-1-1 operators that there were two men near the east end of the Ross Island Bridge, and that one of them had no shirt and seemed to be hanging over the railing.

By the time officers arrived, only one young male adult remained. He told police that his friend, 22-year-old Tyler Fisher, had said he wanted to swim west across the Willamette River, so he took off his shirt and shoes and jumped from the bridge into the river below.

Portland Fire and Rescue, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office, and the U.S. Coast Guard all dispatched boats and began searching the river for Fisher.

Late the same morning, divers from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office located his body, submerged in the Willamette River, near the Ross Island Bridge.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner was to conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Meantime, Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson later reported that, based on the investigation, Fisher’s death did not appear to be either a criminal incident or a suicide attempt.

“Alcohol may have been a factor in the decision to jump,” he said.