A bank robbery suspect who led police on a high speed chase before jumping off a bridge remained in a Columbia hospital Friday from injuries he suffered in the 50-foot plunge, a police spokesman said.
Russell Clark Munn, 28, apparently sustained more serious injuries than originally thought, but the injuries are not life-threatening, said Brick Lewis, a Columbia Police Department spokesman.
Lewis said he?s not sure if Munn was trying to commit suicide Thursday or he was trying to escape from police by leaping off the Interstate 77 bridge over the Congaree River southeast of Columbia.
"I don?t think he told us what he was thinking," Lewis said. "We treated it like he was trying to commit suicide."
Munn?s high-speed chase ended when he stopped his car on the Alex Sanders Bridge and climbed atop a guard rail over the Congaree River. He refused to get down, causing authorities to block traffic on the interstate in both directions between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Thursday while they negotiated with him. The traffic tie-up frustrated motorists trying to get to work or other destinations.
At about 11:20 a.m., the man suddenly bent over and dove off the bridge?s guard rail between the north and south bound lanes of the interstate. Munn hit a thicket of brambles and a muddy bank be-side the river, which may have saved him, Lewis said.
"That basically just cushioned his fall," Lewis said.