Ann Arbor student drowns after jump from bridge into Huron River

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A student at Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School has died after jumping from a train trestle into the Huron River, the district said Thursday.

Alex Walker, a 10th grader at the school, died Wednesday, said Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift in a statement.

"Alex’s mom would like us to share that Alex’s death occurred from drowning after jumping off the train trestle at Bandemer Park while with a group of friends from Pioneer and Skyline yesterday afternoon at the river," Swift said.

Bandemer Park is a 38-acre natural area along the river and west of the Argo Pond, according to the Ann Arbor website.

"Lives were forever changed today on the Huron River," the Ann Arbor Fire Department said in a Facebook post Wednesday. "NEVER jump off any bridge into the Huron River. This is not only incredibly dangerous but also illegal. The river has significant hidden debris such as trees and VERY unpredictable and strong currents. We strongly discourage anyone from swimming in the Huron River due to these hazards."

Walker joined the district as a fourth grader at Burns Park Elementary and attended Tappan Middle School before attending Pioneer High in 2020, Swift said.

He was on the football and track teams at the high school.

"We have support in place at Pioneer for students and staff as well as at the other high schools, Tappan and Burns Park," the superintendent said. "We will continue to support staff and students over the coming days so that our students and staff have ongoing support during this very difficult time."