SEATTLE – Rush-hour traffic on Interstate 5 through Seattle was stalled for three hours today as police tried to negotiate with a woman threatening to jump from the 160-foot-high bridge across the Ship Canal near the University of Washington.
She leaped at about 10 a.m, and apparently survived, one witness said.
“She kind of just cannonballed,” said Holly Viola of Seattle, who had been caught in the traffic jam.
“She came up and she was swinging her arms, trying to swim,” Viola said.
Police boats converged on the woman, she said. “All the cops jumped in and pulled her out.”
A stretcher was at the ready, and the woman was whisked away, Viola said.
Officials at Harborview Medical Center, the region’s trauma hospital, said she had not yet arrived there.
North and southbound lanes of I-5 were closed for a time at the request of Seattle police, said spokeswoman Clarissa Lundeen with the state Department of Transportation.
The woman was in the southbound lanes, and that portion of the freeway remained closed for the duration of the incident. Traffic was moving again at 10:30, DOT spokeswoman Claudia Cornish said.
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