Rescue crews from Rockland and Westchester counties quickly pulled, but were unable to save, an alleged jumper out of the Hudson River Wednesday evening after a leap off the Tappan Zee Bridge's mid-span.
State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra said the woman, recovered from the water at 5:15 p.m. by the Nyack Fire Department, was pronounced dead at 5:40 p.m.
Becerra described her as in her mid-20s and from Connecticut, withholding her name pending notification to next of kin. The state investigator was interviewing witnesses who saw her stop her Nissan Versa before jumping from a point about one-quarter-mile onto the northbound span of the bridge.
The incident occurred at about 5 p.m.— an unusual time, noted one Tarrytown police officer, for a bridge jumper. The Tarrytown train station parking lot, where Tarrytown rescue crews were stationed, was packed with exiting commuters, and the bridge dense with slowed traffic.
Nyacker Christina Place witnessed the woman pull her car to the side of the bridge and jump off, she said.
"I was coming home from work," Place said. "I saw the car stop, and then I [saw] a woman jump out of her car, and without hesitation run over to the fence."
Place said she was one of many motorists who attempted to prevent the woman from jumping, but could not reach her, either with words or actions.
"Before anyone could get out of their cars to pull her off the fence, she was over," Place said. "Clearly she had an intent."
"I nearly lost it, I was so upset by what I saw," Place added. "I hope she makes it and gets the help she needs."
Tarrytown Fire Chief Eugene Gasparre received confirmation at 5:17 p.m. that the woman would be transported by rescue boat to the Tarrytown side of the river. Rescue officials had to wait a short time for an ambulance to arrive as Tarrytown Volunteer Ambulance Ambulance Corps was on another call.
Until Sleepy Hollow Ambulance Corps arrived moments later, the rescue crew performed CPR, though the woman reportedly had no pulse at the time. SHAC transported the woman to , where she was soon pronounced dead.
Firefighters and police were on hand to ensure the ambulance could exit the crowded parking area safely, keeping both cars and onlookers at a distance. Volunteer firefighters from Central Nyack were on the bridge, while volunteers from the Nyack and Piermont fire departments were on rescue boats.
Becerra said the investigation was ongoing.