DETROIT - Crews have suspended the search for a 27-year-old Garden City man who fell from the Ambassador Bridge on Wednesday while he was working.
Kent Morton, a subcontractor for Seaway Painting, fell just before 2 p.m. from the bridge's center span area, which is about 156 feet tall at its highest point. The U.S. Coast Guard, Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff's Office are involved in the searching.
It will resume Friday morning.
Authorities had said the drop from bridge combined with the temperature of the water – about 37 degrees – worked against Morton's rate of survival.
But Detroit EMS Lt. Damon Sutton said witnesses reported seeing Morton struggle once he hit the water.
"They saw him fighting the water and he went down under apparently at the Boblo dock area," Sutton said.
Morton's family stood watch at the Detroit River's edge during the search. Morton's family said he had a daughter and another child on the way.
"He was an amazing father, absolutely amazing. That daughter, she loved him to death. She's at home holding his coat right now that he had left in his work truck," Shane Morton said. "She hasn't let it go."
A vigil was planned for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Morningstar Church, which is located at 29863 Dawson in Garden City.
The commuter bridge is owned by the Detroit International Bridge Co. and connects Detroit with Windsor, Ontario.
The Bridge Company released the following statement on Wednesday:
This afternoon, a painter working for a contractor of the Bridge Company fell from the Ambassador Bridge. Our first concern is for the health and welfare of the man who fell. Our prayers are with him and we hope for a positive outcome to this incident.
We know the risk involved in this kind of work and that our contractors abide by the highest safety standards.
We don't have any details on how this occurred. We'll know more after a thorough investigation.
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