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Rarity: NJ Woman Survives GWB Suicide Leap

GWB
GWB Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A New Jersey woman survived a suicide leap from the George Washington Bridge on Tuesday night -- a rarity in the annals of the span, authorities said.

A boat chartered by New Square EMS that was in the area fished the 25-year-old Somerset County woman from the Hudson River just north of the bridge's New York City base around 5 p.m. after a witness reported seeing her jump, the Port Authority's Joseph Pengantelo told Daily Voice.

Port Authority police escorted the ambulance to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, he said.

"She not only wasn't dead," Pentangelo said. "She was conscious when she arrived at the hospital."

Both of her legs were broken, responders said. Her car was later found in Manhattan.

A total of 18 people have jumped to their deaths from the GWB each of the past two years.

No one who jumps from such a height expects to live. A jumper of average weight reaches roughly 55 miles an hour before smashing into the water at somewhere under 30,000 pounds of force -- covering the distance in about 2.5 seconds -- experts say.

The last jumper to survive the 212-foot fall was Aidan Rawn of Massachusetts, a former Naval Academy water-polo player who took the leap in the summer of 2009.

Several years earlier, a woman was fished out of the water -- alive but with serious injuries. The same went for a man who lived to tell about his leap in 1968.

Then there was the Jersey man in the 1940s who bet a buddy that he could survive a jump from the iconic span -- which this October celebrates its 85th birthday.

He made it, all right, and collected his money. He died of his injuries a few days later.

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