Man jumps from Joe Montana Bridge near Finleyville

May 18, 2017
State troopers confer with a deputy coroner about an apparent suicide jump Thursday from the Joe Montana Bridges in Union Township. - Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

FINLEYVILLE – An Allegheny County man apparently leaped to his death Thursday morning from one of the Joe Montana Bridges along the Mon-Fayette Expressway in Union Township.

The Washington County coroner’s office said Donald Alex Thomas, 51, of South Park, was found dead below the southbound bridge about 10:05 a.m.

It appeared Thomas parked his black Dodge pickup truck on the berm between 8:50 and 10:05 a.m., got out and then fell to his death in a grassy area on a steep hillside below the massive bridges and alongside Route 88 just north of Ginger Hill Road.

The twin bridges are 250 feet above Route 88.

A deputy coroner pronounced the man dead at 11:40 a.m., according to a news release from Coroner Tim Warco. A ruling on the cause and manner of Thomas’ death were pending further investigation. Warco said he was handling the death as a possible suicide.

State police said troopers were taking the lead in the investigation in a municipality patrolled by officers from Monongahela.

The Elrama and Valley Inn fire departments in Union assisted police at the scene.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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