Police in a small town in southern West Virginia spotted a man they wanted to talk with getting into a car on a downtown street in the early morning hours last Thursday, and pulled in behind the car. The driver took off, and a couple of blocks later the passenger exited the moving vehicle. After checking on the “jumper,” the police officers continued the chase, and the driver headed out of town and turned on the northbound ramp of I-77. About nine miles later, just after crossing the bridge over the Bluestone Gorge, the driver leapt from the still-moving vehicle and headed into the woods. The car rolled into a bank and stopped, and one police officer gave chase into the woods.
Now, if you’re not familiar with southern West Virginia, the name “Bluestone Gorge” ought to give you a clue that it is mountainous terrain. Running through unfamiliar wooded areas in the dark is, well, stupid. Almost predictably, trouble ensued, as the 30-year-old runner went over a cliff head first, landed and rolled about 100 feet before coming to a stop. The police officer, witnessing the first man take wing, was unable to stop and also went over the cliff, but was not seriously hurt. His partner came along shortly and lent assistance and called the rescue squad to get them back up the cliff. The 30 year-old unidentified runner was seriously injured.
Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction. This episode tends to support that theory.
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