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Interstate 80 overpass jumper injured at Newcastle

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A man jumped from the Newcastle overpass onto Interstate 80 and apparently survived not only the fall Friday but avoided being run over by westbound traffic. Don Holter, an Auburn Journal employee, was on the overpass and witnessed the man jump. “The man parked his car in the middle of the overpass with its emergency flashers on, took two steps to the railing, grabbed hold and jumped off backward,” Holter said. Holter said he was driving about 30 feet from the man as he jumped. “I couldn’t believe what was happening and it was hard to believe he survived,” Holter said. Holter said he saw the man lying on the road in the westbound fast lane. Cars were stopping suddenly and at least one motorist had left his vehicle to direct traffic around the man, he said. With traffic stopped, the jumper was removed from the freeway and taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Placer County Sheriff ‘s Office spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. Officer David Martinez said traffic was backed up during the short time the man was being helped. First reports to dispatchers about the man jumping came in at 10:36 a.m. and the freeway was open again at 10:53 a.m. The drop from the guardrail to the freeway is an estimated 30 feet. The man’s identity was not released by emergency personnel and hospital officials can’t release patient condition information to the media without a name.