At some point, it was imperative that the 20-year-old get from one side of the bridge to the other. So he decided to leave the pedestrian walkway and lope across the four traffic lanes to the other side.
Only one problem: There's an 8-foot gap between the northbound and southbound lanes. Banks did not know this.[jump]
At the gap, there is a 2-foot-8-inch high barrier which Banks hopped over, apparently believing there was a walkway of some kind on the other side. Instead, there was a huge open space. And then a 55-foot vertical drop. Banks plummeted through the two lanes of traffic and crash-landed on Raspberry Island below.
Amazingly, he survived. He was even awake when fire, paramedics, and St. Paul police arrived. He was taken to Regions Hospital in critical condition, but bounced back today and is now in fair condition.
St. Paul police spokesperson John Keating says that they're just letting him recover, and there won't be any charges.
"This just appears to be an accident," he says.
To give a sense of how big an oversight this was, here's a couple of views of the gap Banks tried to fly over:
Not exactly a crack in the sidewalk. Still, Banks should have an awesome tale to tell, whenever he gets out of the hospital.