By Talia Kaplan
Steelville, MO (KSDK) - A warning after a Missouri man jumps off a mud bank and is now fighting for his life. Police say it happened when he was on a float trip in the popular Huzzah Creek in Steelville.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says cliff jumping is always dangerous but especially this year because of the drought.
Rose Brown lives and works near Huzzah Creek and says there was a lot of commotion this weekend. Something she says she experiences all too often.
"I've been around the river since about 1970 and we see a lot of people having a good time floating we also sometimes have tragic events that take place and this is very tragic and we are all very sorry that somebody didn't use their head, didn't think, and just to be seen before people, they just jumped where they shouldn't have jumped," said Rose Brown, owner of Brown's Canoe Rental.
The Highway Patrol says a 28-year-old man from Orrick, Missouri was on a float trip with friends and family around two on Saturday afternoon. They were floating on the Huzzah Creek when he decided to jump off of an eight foot mud bank in a remote area near "Brown's Bridge." They say he landed head first in water that was probably only a foot deep. He was transported to the hospital with trauma to his head and significant spinal injuries. He is now in critical condition.
The Highway Patrol says they were called to assist another cliff jumper rescue around the same time on Saturday. This one in the nearby Meramec River. That man also has serious injuries.
"Our streams are down a foot. Some places two feet. This is the lowest I have seen the Meramec in quite some time. The Huzzah is smaller than the Meramec so it's not real deep," said Sheriff Randy E. Martin with the Crawford County Sheriff's Department.
The sheriff says you should avoid jumping, but if you do make sure to check the water level. It may look deep but since the water is cloudy you can't really tell how deep it is.