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Police identify Bend man who died in Deschutes River

Witness wishes she had paid closer attention

Man dies jumping from bridge

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Police identify apparent drowning victim)

Police on Wednesday identified a 59-year-old Bend man who died after jumping into the Deschutes River from the First Street Rapids footbridge.

Sgt. Adam Juhnke said the man in Sunday's incident has been positively identified as Andrew Joseph Munster, whose next of kin have been notified.

"The Bend Police Department would like to thank the citizens who assisted in trying to locate and help Mr. Munster," Juhnke wrote. "We would also like to thank the volunteers of the Deschutes County Search & Rescue Team for their quick response."

Debra Knight lives in Bend and saw the man jump from the footbridge.

"It seemed liked he was underneath for like a little bit, maybe five seconds, a little bit of time," Knight recalled Monday. "But then we saw him resurface, we thought that he was OK, and we just stopped watching him." 

That's when Bend police, fire and Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue were called to the scene, explained Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe.

"We had our rescue boat that came with our rescue, guys got in and started to do a more intensive search -- nothing found," Howe said.

"The police officers brought their drone and they put that up in the air, has a camera on it," he said. "And within just a couple minutes, they found the body, floating just below the surface, a couple hundred yards downstream from the bridge."

It was a difficult scene to watch for the people who saw him jump in the water.

"Yeah you would think he came up, he came up, he was conscious and he must be fine, but he wasn't fine," Knight said. "And there were people everywhere, and none of us helped him, because we thought he was fine."

It's a tragic reminder to keep an eye on or near the water on not just your own friends and family, but strangers as well.

"What we would love to see is, citizens of of our community, take care of each other, be stewards of the land and stewards of each other," Howe said.

Because it just might make a difference.  

"I feel really sad for him, I feel really sad for his family and I feel just really sad that I didn't pay more attention," Knight said. "I don't know if I could have helped him, but maybe I could have -- maybe any of us could have." 


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