Man who jumped into river dies

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
— A man who jumped from the Center Avenue Bridge died Tuesday morning at Mercy Hospital, police said.

Archie D. Williams 40, of 1105 Kellogg Ave. jumped from the bridge at about 4 a.m. He was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital at about 8:25 a.m., police said.

The Gazette incorrectly reported on Page 11A on Wednesday that Williams remained in critical condition late Tuesday.

A Gazette reporter who called Mercy Hospital at about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday—before Williams died—was told Williams was in critical condition.

A reporter who called Mercy at about 5 p.m. Tuesday was told Williams remained in critical condition, even though the spokeswoman knew Williams had died more than eight hours earlier.

When asked Wednesday morning why the Gazette was given false information, a Mercy spokeswoman said the Rock County Coroner’s Office had ordered Tuesday that no information be released about Williams’ condition because family members had not been notified of his death.

Because the Gazette had already been told at 8:15 a.m. that Williams was in critical condition, Mercy decided the Gazette should be given the same condition status at 5 p.m., even though Williams had died more than eight hours earlier, the spokeswoman said.

Williams left a suicide note with a convenience store clerk before jumping from the bridge into the Rock River and refused rescue attempts by police officers and firefighters.

“He resisted all efforts by us to throw ropes to him,’’ Janesville police Sgt. Dean Sukus said.

Firefighters worked to resuscitate Williams after pulling him into a boat.

Janesville police detective Chris Buescher said the cause of Williams’ death is unknown but most likely is due to drowning or exposure. An autopsy will not be performed, he said.

“We decided because it was witnessed by the entire police and fire department (crews) on duty, it was pretty unnecessary,’’ Buescher said.

Last updated: 12:37 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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