‘Stunned ... devastated ... heartbroken’ - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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‘Stunned ... devastated ... heartbroken’

Bridge death to be ruled a drowning

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Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The death of Sagle man who leapt from Bridge Street Bridge is being classified as a drowning, according to the Sandpoint Police Department.

Patrick R. Orton was found in Sand Creek shortly after either diving or jumping from the span at around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning. Orton was with a small group of friends heading to City Beach when he jumped from the bridge.

Orton’s companions briefly lost sight of him after he jumped. He was subsequently found submerged and unresponsive on the north side of the bridge, according to Police Chief Corey Coon.

Orton, 25, was pronounced dead at Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai County Coroner Deb Wilkey was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, although Coon said he has been advised that Orton’s death will be classified as a drowning.

Alcohol will be cited as a factor in the death. Coon said he had not seen blood alcohol results.

However, Coon said he  was advised that Orton was legally drunk at the time of the jump.

An X-ray examination of Orton turned up no broken bones or other trauma suggesting he struck the bottom of the creek or any other obstruction in the leap.

“He just wanted to jump in and get wet,” Coon said of Orton’s apparent motivation to leap from the relatively small bridge.

City code prohibits people from jumping from bridges, railroad trestles or any other elevated structures.

A makeshift memorial with a dozen bouquets has been erected on the bridge’s north railing.

“You were the best teacher I ever could have asked for,” said one message that was written on adhesive tape that held fast a photograph of Orton.

Another message read, “Stunned ... devastated ... heartbroken. Patrick — you are so loved. I am lucky to have known you. I’ll miss you.”

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  • renuka123 posted at 12:27 am on Tue, Dec 1, 2015.

    renuka123 Posts: 9

    Abasourdi ... dévasté ... le cœur brisé »[beam][beam][beam]
    Patek Philippe
    replique montres

  • Jason Abbott posted at 3:51 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Jason Abbott Posts: 428

    As I read it, the advisement was from the coroner so not speculative. That the well loved Orton might be walking home late at night after some drinks is no aspersion, that's exactly the way to go.

  • Will posted at 3:20 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    Will Posts: 1

    Bless this soul who has shared so much with so many. I did not know Patrick well, but in meeting him one knows right away that this is a special person. My son and his friends have been truly touched by Patrick, their friend. We were all devistated by the tragic news. I want everyone to know that our prayers and thoughts are with all of you. Know that he is watching over all of you and will be with you in spirit as you explore your amazing life.

  • alanphoto posted at 12:38 pm on Wed, Jul 24, 2013.

    alanphoto Posts: 3

    Maybe we could wait until the autopsy results are in before we start labeling someone as drunk? I would rather my news stories contain facts, rather than "advisements" like the sheriff was given. He very well may have been over the legal limit, but let's wait until we have the facts. This was obviously a person that was well liked/loved in the community, and jumping to conclusions doesn't help his friends and family that are coping with his loss.