‘Stunned ... devastated ... heartbroken’

Bridge death to be ruled a drowning

Print Article

Friends and family of Patrick Orton have created a makeshift memorial on the north railing of the Bridge Street Bridge. (Photo by KEITH KINNAIRD)

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.”

Print Article

Read More News

Top rainbow pushes 16 pounds at Lake Pend Oreille derby

May 27, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Aimee McCorkle was still in bed in the fo’c’sle of her and husband Rick’s fishing boat near Whiskey Rock last weekend when she heard the reel start to buzz. She jumped out onto the deck, waking up t...

Comments

Read More

Panfish: A fun and easy way to enjoy fishing in region

May 27, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee It looks as though spring has sprung in north Idaho, and for many of us that means getting outside to soak up some sun with a fishing rod in hand. Just take a look at the local boat launches and y...

Comments

Read More

IPNF treating noxious weeds

May 27, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee The Idaho Panhandle National Forests will be treating noxious weeds on National Forest System lands as part of an integrated pest management program that includes mechanical treatment, seeding/fertil...

Comments

Read More

Prepare firewood now to save money, burn cleaner

May 27, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Now is the time to collect and properly store firewood so it is dry enough to burn efficiently during the colder months. Burning clean, dry, seasoned firewood to heat your home saves money, ignites e...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X