Man dies after jumping from bridge

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2002

A Selma man was pronounced dead Tuesday after jumping from the Edmund Pettus Bridge shortly after noon.

Selma Police Lt. David Evans identified the man as Arthur Davison.

Evans said that Detective Mike Palmer spotted a man standing on the bridge at approximately 12:40 p.m. According to Evans, the man jumped as soon as Palmer stopped his car on the bridge.

Palmer contacted police headquarters when he saw Davison jump, and several officers, Evans included, arrived shortly thereafter.

Evans said that Davison may still have been alive after hitting the water, and noted that the body could be seen above water for several minutes.

Local resident William James Watts, standing near the bridge when the jump occurred, had his own theory.

As units from the Selma-Dallas County joint volunteer rescue squad and the city marina joined in the search along with the marine police, a crowd of curious onlookers gathered on the bridge. Traffic on U.S. Highway 80 slowed to a crawl. Police units blocked one eastbound lane.

A rescue squad and a marine police boat reached Davison’s body at the same time, but by the time he was pulled out of the water he was already believed to be dead.

Davison’s body was brought to the marina where a Haynes ambulance crew and Coroner Frank Bailey were waiting. Davison was officially pronounced dead at the marina, according to Evans.

The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Police said Davison’s family has been notified. Police offered no motive for his actions.