Ann Arbor Fire Department issues new warning after teen jumps from bridge and drowns

Officials say students from Skyline and Pioneer High Schools were jumping from the Amtrak Bridge when Alex Walker got into trouble

Tragedy in the Huron River after a teenager jumped off a bridge and drowned, prompting a new warning from the Ann Arbor Fire Department. The boy who died was just a sophomore in high school who was with a larger teen group Wednesday (May 11).

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A tragedy happened in the Huron River after teenager Alex Walker jumped off a bridge and drowned, prompting a new warning from the Ann Arbor Fire Department.

Walker was just a sophomore in high school who was with a larger teen group Wednesday (May 11).

The teens were jumping into the Huron River from a Train Trestle Amtrak which trains use for crossing just west of Bandemer Park.

As Local 4 News was putting this story together, we put up sky 4 to give you a different vantage point of where the incident happened. And we were surprised to see more kids jumping from that bridge.

Read: ‘It was pretty awful.’ Kayaker recalls moment boy drowned in Ann Arbor

As soon as we saw what was happening, we contacted Ann Arbor police so they could get those kids out of harm’s way.

People aren’t supposed to go up to the bridge or jump into the river, but they do, especially in the warmer months. With that in mind, officials are now issuing more warnings following the death of a high school sophomore.

The Huron River may look tranquil, but it’s not. The tragedy that took place Wednesday speaks to the dangers of the water below the bridge.

Officials say students from Skyline and Pioneer High Schools were jumping from the Amtrak Bridge when Walker got into trouble.

People nearby heard the commotion and rushed to help, pulling Walker from the river; The medics arrived, performed CPR, and transported him to the local hospital, where he later died.

Less than 24-hours after that tragedy, Local 4 News saw even more teens attempting to do the very same thing that took the life of the teenager.

Local 4 News called police, who came out to remind them of the dangers as even the strongest swimmers, officials say, can be swept under.

Walker played football and ran track for Pioneer High School. After the incident, the district sent a letter home, saying his mom wanted others to know how he passed.

Ann Arbor Fire Chief Mike Kennedy is trying to keep anyone else from jumping in, too, saying the current debris and trees can pose dangers that people might not make out.

Superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift said that extra support would be on hand for students in a letter. Swift said Walker always had a smile on his face.

“Alex’s mom would like us to share that Alex’s death occurred from drowning after jumping off the train trestle at Bandemer Park while with a group of friends from Pioneer and Skyline yesterday afternoon at the river. The Ann Arbor Fire Department has shared the dangers of jumping off of any bridge or overpass into the Huron River due to hidden debris in the water and very unpredictable and strong currents.”

Superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift

About the Authors:

Pamela Osborne is thrilled to be back home at the station she grew up watching! You can watch her on Local 4 News Sundays and weeknights. Pamela joined the WDIV News Team in February 2022, after working at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.