Multiple agencies are searching for a woman who, according to a witness, has jumped from the bridge on I-95 into the Savannah River.
The Effingham County Sheriffs Office along with Chatham County Marine Patrol, Georgia DNR, South Carolina DNR, Rincon Fire, and the U.S. Coast Guard are all assiting in the search.
ECSO officials say traffic near the scene is very slow due to people slowing down to look. However, all lanes of I-95 are open. Crews are in the area attempting to keep the traffic moving. Please use extreme caution in the area.
Other agencies assisting are Savannah Fire Rescue, EEMA, Port Wentworth PD, the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety, and the Jasper County Sheriffs Office.
A body has been recovered by dive teams from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources after a woman was seen jumping from a bridge on I-95 into the Savannah River, according to a news release from the Effingham County Emergency Management Agency.
Earlier today, a motorist was witnessed jumping from the bridge between South Carolina and Georgia into the river, the release said. Crews from multiple agencies worked to locate and recover the victim this afternoon. The family has been notified, but EEMA will leave any public identification to law enforcement.
We appreciate the publics patience with the heavy traffic congestion and delays caused along the interstate. Although slowing traffic can be an aggravation, this was for the safety of the crews working and gratefully, no responders were injured on this scene, according to the release.
At that time, traffic in the area was slow from the Hilton Head Island exit at U.S. 278 to the Georgia state line, but all lanes of I-95 were open, according to S.C. Department of Transportation traffic cameras.
The release went on to thank the many agencies that worked together on the incident: S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, GDOT/CHAMPS, Effingham County Sheriffs Office, Effingham County Fire Rescue, Effingham County Coroner, Rincon Fire Department, Savannah Fire Department, Chatham County Marine Patrol, Wayne County Dive Team, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Gene Sullivan, public information officer for the Effingham County Sheriffs Office, said the woman allegedly jumped around 10 a.m.
Capt. Bob Lynn of Georgia DNR said Thursday afternoon that the woman, described only as African American by a witness. He added that she parked her car near the bridge on the northbound side.
Local authorities have not officially characterized the death as a suicide, but this story will be updated as more information becomes available.
In addition to local resources, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette do not typically write about suicides or suicide attempts unless there is a compelling reason to do so, such as occurring in a public setting.
Caitlin Turner is the retail and business reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. She has worked in the news industry for five years in both Ohio and South Carolina and loves the Lowcountry life.
Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isnt a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.