Jury finds bridge jumper guilty of negligent endangerment
MISSOULA, Mont. - Missoula jurors found a 21-year-old man guilty of misdemeanor negligent endangerment, after he jumped off a bridge in the East Missoula area and landed on a man last summer. The incident happened on the Clark Fork River.
Andy Hill suffered multiple injuries after Corey Allen Hewitt landed on him. Prosecutors claimed Hewitt knew he wasn't allowed to jump off the Bandmann Bridge, and also didn't look upriver before making the leap. Hewitt's defense claimed the situation was an accident, and that the man had made a mistake.
Hewitt declined an interview with NBC Montana following the verdict.
Hill says he's happy about the verdict, as it's an incident that still affects him.
"It definitely provides some closure, which is something we've really been looking for, for the last year," said Hill.
He walks with a cane, and is waiting to hear from doctors about the potential for surgery.
This was his second chance at a trial. The first one was declared a mistrial in May, because there weren't enough jurors available.
"My wife and I have talked about it and we both felt kind of devastated and crushed after that," said Hill.
Hill was the first witness called to the stand this time, and he walked jurors through a timeline of what happened that day.
"You've got a whole room full of people staring at you and hanging onto your every word, so it's a little intimidating," he said.
Hill has been trying to spread awareness of river safety.
"Look before you leap. Don't jump blindly, and I guess that applies to everything in life," said Hill.
Meanwhile, Hill is trying to hit the river again as soon as he can and recently bought a new tube for fishing.