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Police Pursuit Ends In Fatal Bridge Jump

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

July 26, 2011

WEST BOYLSTON, MA – A ski industry writer from Princeton jumped to his death from the Quinapoxet Bridge yesterday after leading police on an early-morning, 3-mile pursuit.

Roger A. Leo, 64, died after jumping headfirst off the Interstate 190 bridge to a rocky embankment 47 feet below.

Leo’s death came after Princeton police responded to a 911 call at 12:15 a.m. on Houghton Road, about 2 miles from Leo’s house.

At the Houghton Road address, Leo allegedly tried to drown a man who lives there in the family pool. State Police said he then struck the man with a cinder block.

Leo, who knew the married couple living at the residence, fled in a 2005 Jeep Liberty, prompting the pursuit that ended at the Quinapoxet Bridge, officials said.

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said Leo’s arrival at the house was not a random act. He said an autopsy will be conducted.

The victim, whom police would not name, is being treated for injuries, officials said.

Leo had a 34-year career at the Telegram & Gazette, including work as a reporter, photo editor, local news editor, outdoor and ski columnist, and editorial writer. After retiring in 2005, he was a ski industry writer and blogger, including Eastern seaboard editor for OnTheSnow.com.

He reported and photographed from points around the world, including Alaska, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where he was embedded with the First Battalion, Eighth Cavalry Regiment in Baghdad.

Some of his frontline images from Iraq and Afghanistan were displayed at a 2009 exhibit at the Princeton Arts Society. He also wrote a blog called Men at War, chronicling his visits to the areas.

The Princeton police log indicates police received two 911 calls shortly after midnight. The first call was abandoned but the second call “came in again as a party reporting her husband is fighting with someone out in their driveway. Party disconnected call due to being concerned for her children in the house.’’

On a call back to the residence, the woman put her husband on the phone.

Princeton police, joined later by State Police, tried to stop Leo southbound on Route 140. The pursuit continued onto Interstate 190, State Police said.

The pursuit, which lasted less than 3 minutes, reached speeds between 50 and 75 miles per hour, State Police said.

Leo’s Jeep slowed down and pulled into the breakdown lane where it traveled for a short distance before stopping at the Quinapoxet Bridge, which spans the West Boylston-Holden line and can reach a height of 117 feet.

At 12:38 a.m., Leo exited his vehicle and ran southbound for about 130 feet. Trooper Matthew Moran pursued and ordered him to stop.

“Trooper Moran, still running after him, yelled at him to not jump, but immediately observed the man jump headfirst over the right side of the bridge,’’ State Police said in a release.

The death is being investigated by Troop C of the State Police and State Police detectives.


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    Spectre3

    almost 3 years ago

    12928 Comments

    Twice in one week.....hmmmm. Do we have a new trend starting here?

  • Th_detective_max50

    Retleo

    almost 3 years ago

    5524 Comments

    Glad that no LEO was hurt in this incident. The fate of the Jumper was a result of his own actions and the blame his death rests squarely upon his own shoulders.

  • Picture_100_max50

    crowfeeder

    almost 3 years ago

    928 Comments

    Odd story.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    almost 3 years ago

    50312 Comments

    Bump Top_Cat.

  • Segway-police-unit-china_max50

    foxblood

    almost 3 years ago

    396 Comments

    wonder what the motive was

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    almost 3 years ago

    23284 Comments

    The judges gave him a perfect 10 for the dive.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    almost 3 years ago

    14614 Comments

    Dang! That is definitely a 'Oh $hit' moment in ones career! The Trooper probably knew how high the bridge is at that point an knew that the injury would be traumatic and probably unsurvivable. Makes you wonder what in the world was going on in this guys head!

  • Hg_max50

    2Greazy

    almost 3 years ago

    170 Comments

    Wow really? Second case of this in a week. Is jail really THAT bad!?

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