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September 9, 2013

Cullman man allegedly jumps off bridge, lives

A Cullman man wearing only a hospital gown allegedly jumped off the Lake Catoma Bridge on Alabama Highway 157 into the lake around 3:20 p.m. on Monday, but reportedly did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

Edward Joseph Martorana, 50, was in the Cullman Regional Medical Center for a “Probate evaluation” law enforcement officials said where he became agitated  and left. Cullman city police Lt. Gene Bates said multiple departments responded and were able to assist Martorana from the water.

“Two firefighters, Brian Bradberry and Adam Lackey, were the first responders to the incident and went into the lake to help the man after they spotted him treading in the lake,” Bates said. “I’m not sure if he jumped off the bridge or not, I did not see the incident occur. We received reports that he did. He was cooperative as we were transporting him back to the hospital.”

Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Fire and Rescue Chief Junior Reinhardt commended the efforts among police officers, EMS, firefighters, lake patrol, sheriff’s office deputies and the water treatment plant employees who all played a part in seeing the situation through without incident.

“We responded to a call that a man had jumped off a bridge, and we didn’t know the condition he was in so we made the decision to enter the water and try to provide him help once we spotted him,” Bradberry said. “He started swimming to the other side as we began going to him and water patrol arrived and were able to get him into the boat. They transported him back to the hospital.”

Officials said the man showed signs of exhaustion and was assisted into the boat from the water in only a hospital gown. No charges will be filled against him but it was reported that he will finish the probate evaluation.

Lauren Estes can be reached at laurene@cullmantimes.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.

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