Update: Woman who jumped from Ravenel Bridge identified
A woman who died after jumping from the Ravenel Bridge Sunday afternoon has been identified as 56-year-old Belinda Roper of Charleston.
Roper survived the initial fall, but she died later in the day at Medical University Hospital from the trauma her body received, Charleston County Deputy Coroner Kraus said.
Three people jumped out of their cars and started yelling as a woman draped her leg over the concrete wall of the Ravenel Bridge on Sunday.
She was heading toward Charleston when she stopped her car, opened the door and walked to the side of the bridge about 12:30 p.m.
She didn't pause, never looked back, as she went over the side and hit the water on her back, according to a witness who tried to stop her.
One of those who tried to stop her said later that he was so torn up with a feeling of helplessness that he could barely talk about the incident; he refused to allow his name to be used because he felt he didn't deserve any recognition.
The woman was floating about 50 feet from the pier at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. The pier was crowded with fishermen and other visitors.
One fisherman said later he heard the splash when the woman hit the water. Another said he thought someone had fallen out of a boat. They also seemed upset by the incident and didn't want to give their names.
Those who tried to stop her from jumping yelled down from the bridge for someone on the pier to do something.
A man on the pier grabbed a life preserver, stripped down to his boxers and jumped into the water, according to a witness. Two people in a boat beat him to her. They lifted the woman from the water and brought her to shore.
Mount Pleasant police and personnel from the Mount Pleasant Fire Department and Charleston County Emergency Rescue Squad met the boaters at the edge of the water.
The woman was conscious but appeared to be in shock, Mount Pleasant police Sgt. Greg Horton said. He said she is 57 years old. She was taken to a local hospital.
Glenn Smith contributed to this report. Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.