Woman leaps from bridge trying to escape police chase

Woman leaps from bridge trying to escape police chase »Play Video
While it's hard to see from this police car's dash-cam video, the suspect can be seen leaving her car and heading toward the railing of the Stark Street Bridge.

TROUTDALE, Ore. — Police were chasing a stolen car for miles when the woman behind the wheel suddenly pulled over on the Stark Street Bridge and jumped into the freezing Sandy River.

It began Wednesday around 4:40 p.m. with a simple traffic stop at Southeast 242nd and Stark Street in Troutdale. The officer ran the license plate and the car came back stolen.

The police car's dash-cam video showed 26-year-old Rebecca Humphries speeding away.

Humphries spoke with KATU News by phone from her hospital bed Thursday night.

"I was trying to return the car to the guy that was in retaliation for me ditching it," Humphries explained. "And I started to get pulled over and got scared and 'fight or flight' kicked in and I jumped.”

The video shows Humphries slowing the car she was driving as it crosses the Start Street bridge.  Before it stops completely, she opens the driver's side door, runs to the north side of the bridge, climbs over the railing and jumps.

“I looked down, but I didn't hesitate," Humphries said. "I just jumped."

Humphries said it hurt when she landed.

Sgt.Carey Kaer of the Troutdale Police Department says he's never seen anything quite like it.

"Really, jumping from that bridge, in itself the distance to the water is dangerous - for somebody to jump that distance," Kaer said. "And into freezing water also, I have no idea what was going through her head.”

“It didn't look as far when I looked down, as it did when I looked up,” Humphries said.

The dramatic climax of the chase is also caught on camera. Humphries jumped from the bridge and into the water below, badly injuring herself. She had to be taken to the hospital and treated for broken vertebrae.

Officers cited her for numerous traffic crimes after she was admitted to the hospital.