Officials issue warning to High Rock Lake bridge jumpers
Posted June 28
Davidson County, NC — Marion Grubb sees it all the time.
"Every two or three weeks, you'll see some kids up there doing it," Grubb said.
"Some of them are teenagers."
Grubb says they're jumping about 10 to 15 feet off Highway 8 bridge, also called Brown Loflin Bridge, in into High Rock Lake.
"They walk around up there and jump off the bridge," Grubb said.
Grubb lives on Flat Swamp Lake Road less than half a mile away. He and other neighbors say people start jumping as soon as it gets warm.
"It's a constant thing," Grubb said.
It's also illegal.
"It's a violation," said Officer Branden Jones with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. "It's a class 1 misdemeanor."
"It's very serious."
It's also dangerous, according to Jones.
He says there's constant traffic on the bridge plus boats going back and forth in the water.
"Either someone's going to drown or someone's going to get hit by a vehicle or a boat," Jones said.
Several signs on the bridge state no jumping or diving from the bridge.
But Jones says, not only do people ignore the signs, sometimes they rip them down.
"They do tear them down or they'll spray paint them or attempt to tear them down," Jones said.
Since May, Jones has gotten around seven complaints about people jumping from the bridge into the lake.
He says officers patrol the area but can't be there all the time.
"It's kind of hard to see who's jumping and who's not," he said.
Although Jones says no one has ever died or been seriously hurt, he wants to make sure it stays that way.
"Don't do it," Jones said.
The maximum penalty for jumping off a state-maintained bridge is 120 days in jail plus a fine, according to Jones. The fine is determined by a judge.