Man Plunges From Tulsa Bridge After Guardrail Gives Way

Thursday, October 21st 2010, 7:56 am
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry and,

TULSA, Oklahoma – An 18-year-old man is battling severe head injuries after fall from a Tulsa pedestrian bridge early Thursday morning.

Tulsa Police said Levi Rodriguez and a woman were on the east end of the pedestrian bridge at 29th and Riverside about 1 a.m. when the guardrail gave way.  Police said Rodriguez was leaning on the railing when a section of it fell into the river.  Officers said he fell about 20 feet and landed on the wood and cement walkway below.

"Accidents do happen, no matter how safe you make some place. Things do give way, they are just man-made stuff," said Patsy Hallum, a Sand Springs resident.

Several people use this bridge, some leaning against the railings to look-out or bow fish, like these Jenks students.

"Even down there on the other parts of the bridge there's boards loose and railings that are really wobbly; it's kind of scary," said Jenks student Drew Cotton.

According to the Riverparks Authority, those railings were just updated two or three years ago. They say nothing like this has happened before.

Riverparks Authority Executive Director Matt Meyer said they do maintenance checks on the bridge every couple of weeks.

"We check for things like this; we walk the pedestrian bridge probably every couple of days and we get reports occasionally from people that they see something," he said.

There is a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., but some say this would have happened no matter what time of day.

"Obviously it needs some repair; it needs some work done on it. With all the money that's being invested in the Riverparks, you would think that they would kind of pay attention to stuff like this," said Tulsa resident Allen Braeckel.

Riverparks Authority will repair the railing once the investigation is complete.

Matt Meyer with the Riverparks Authority says they will consider posting signs in the future, warning people not to lean against the railings.

At last check, Rodriguez was in critical condition.