Pennsylvania man leapt to his death from I-59 overpass

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Pennsylvania man allegedly jumped to his death from an overpass on Interstate 59 in Picayune after engaging in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.

Picayune Police Assistant Chief Dustin Moeller said the call came into the department Wednesday night at about 11:40. The caller, who was a man headed to work on a skateboard, reported a man with severe injuries laying on the side of Highway 43 South near the Interstate 59 overpass, said Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage.

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Emergency personnel responded to find the man and took him to Highland Community Hospital, where he was pronounced at 12:19 a.m., Turnage said. The cause of death has been listed as blunt force trauma to the head.

Turnage said the case was complicated at first because they could not identify the man or why he was found on the highway. An investigator found receipts on the deceased indicating that he was a truck driver and had checked into a weigh station in Houston earlier that day.

An 18 wheeler was later located at the Welcome Center in Pearl River County.

Moeller said investigation into the case determined the man, later identified as 59-year-old Donald Bowman of Pennsylvania, had possibly engaged in a domestic dispute with a girlfriend who was helping drive the 18 wheeler, before walking on foot to the overpass.

Turnage said that evidence found at the scene of the overpass, which includes a footprint in the sand on the bridge where he allegedly jumped, indicates he jumped from the bridge and was not struck by a vehicle.

Turnage has listed the manner of death as suicide. Moeller said the case has been turned over to his detectives, but foul play is not suspected at press time.

Turnage said that Bowman was a registered organ donor and his body has been released to an organ recovery facility.