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Crews search for man who may have jumped off I-85 bridge

ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Rescue crews searched a section of the Catawba River much of the day Friday for a man witnesses said jumped off the Interstate 85 bridge at the Mecklenburg-Gaston line at about 11:30 a.m.

Witnesses could not confirm whether the person remained in the water or got out safely, so search crews asked for the public’s help to collect more information.

Two witnesses called 911 to say they saw a man run along the bridge and jump off the southbound side. They described him as white, 19 to 22 years old, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a thin build and dirty blond hair. He was wearing only light blue boxer shorts.

Crews from eight public safety agencies searched on and in the water, checked the river banks, circled the area from the air and interviewed witnesses multiple times before scaling back the search about 4 p.m.

Anyone who saw the swimmer on the bridge, or who knows who the person is, should call 911.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak

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