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Provo police try but fail to thwart jumper

PROVO — Provo police tried in vain Monday afternoon to dissuade a man from hurting himself.

The man eventually jumped off an overpass and fell 40 feet onto railroad tracks. He was in Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in serious condition with broken bones and lacerations Monday night.

The man's family called police around 3:50 p.m. Friday to say they were worried about him based on his comments and emotional state, said Provo Police Capt. Cliff Argyle.

Two officers found the man in his vehicle at 480 S. University Ave. Police stopped traffic in both directions for about 90 minutes as they tried to talk to him.

Police put their cars in his way so he couldn't escape, but he maneuvered around them. He stopped only after an officer got out of his car and ran to the man's window, asking if they could talk, Argyle said.

The man had stopped in a lane of traffic, and because officers didn't know his emotional state, they shut down southbound traffic at 300 South and northbound traffic at 920 South.

The man was emotional and distraught during a 90-minute conversation. When the officer stepped away for a second, the man drove off. The man went to the overpass at 550 S. University Avenue, got out and ran toward the edge.

An officer used a Taser to try to stop the man from jumping, but it didn't stop him, Argyle said. He went over the railing and fell onto the tracks.