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LONGVIEW, Wash. -- The man who fell from the Lewis & Clark Bridge into the Columbia River Sunday and was presumed drowned has been identified.

Charles William Bill Wiley, Jr., 40, fell off a platform attached to the bridge around 11:30 a.m., according to witnesses. Wiley is from Mississippi and his family has been notified, police said.

The US Coast Guard had a helicopter and a boat searching for the man but suspended its search at 2:20 p.m.

Workers on the bridge told deputies that Wiley was working on a platform directly under the bridge. One of the workers looked over and saw him fall from the middle of the bridge's span.

Authorities are investigating what caused the man to fall. His co-workers described him as very safety conscious and experienced at bridge work.


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