Police have appealed for witnesses after a man plunged more than 20 metres to his death from Pheasants Nest Bridge near Bargo following a high-speed police chase.
The incident occurred shortly after midnight yesterday when a marked police patrol car on the Hume Highway was overtaken by a speeding vehicle heading north towards Sydney.
A short pursuit followed before the 33-year-old driver from Mittagong stopped on Pheasants Nest Bridge just a few kilometres north of the freeway services.
The man abandoned his vehicle on the hard shoulder before jumping over the rail and falling 25 metres to his death, despite efforts by the officer to save him.
A search at first light led to the discovery of the man’s body on the banks of the Nepean River before it was winched to the top of the gorge by a specialist police team.
Northbound traffic on the bridge was restricted to one lane yesterday morning while the lengthy recovery operation took place.
The dead man’s red Mitsubishi Magna car was roped off by police tape at the side of the road with the keys still in the ignition.
Inspector Kel Clowry from Camden Police Station confirmed that the car had not been reported stolen and to his knowledge the driver was not fleeing an earlier offence.
“A car chase occurred shortly after midnight when an inspector returning to Camden Police Station became aware of a speeding motorist, which proceeded to overtake his vehicle.
“I’m not aware of its exact speed, only that he said it was being driven at an excessive speed.
“After following the car for a short distance, the driver stopped on the bridge before getting out.
“He was then spoken to by the officer for a very short time, when he indicated that he was going to jump.
“The officer tried to talk him out of it but he was unable to prevent him from jumping.”
The dead man’s name has not been released although his family has been informed.
A coroner’s inquiry will take place at a later date while the police’s handling of the incident is also likely to be the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call 1 800 333 000.