A motorist jumped off the Causeway’s southbound span early Tuesday morning and had to be rescued by a police officer, officials said.
The incident began about 12:50 a.m. when a toll booth attendant noticed something odd about the motorist, Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said. The attendant notified police, who began following the car about a mile from the north shore.
The man’s car struck the bridge’s railing twice before he came to a stop, stepped out of his car and jumped off the left side of the bridge, landing in the water some 25 feet below, Dufrechou said.
A police officer threw the man a life ring, which the man grabbed at first but then let go. By that point, several officers had responded to the scene and decided someone should go in after him.
Cpl. Tate Gallo made the plunge. “Tate volunteered, so he went,” Dufrechou said.
Gallo descended a rope ladder and was able to reach the man, who was face down in the water. Gallo pulled him to the rope ladder and held on until a rescue basket could be lowered.
The man, who was conscious, was taken to St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Dufrechou said.
“It was a team effort,” he said.
The bridge was reopened about 1:40 a.m.