Lehi city officials look into improving safety near Old Iron Bridge after drowning

Local News
LEHI (News4Utah) – Two days after a 16-year-old boy jumped off the Old Iron Bridge and drowned in the Jordan River, Lehi city officials said they are looking into how to make the area safer.
Lehi Police said Cole Merrill of Alpine was with five friends Saturday night who all jumped off the bridge, located near Jordan River Parkway and 1500 North.

Merrill along with two other friends did back flips off the bridge. Both of his friends surfaced, but Merrill did not. Crews found Merrill’s body 25 feet from where he jumped after searching for two hours.

Craig Gull, a fisherman said he frequents the Jordan River about once a week. He said despite the “no trespassing” signs along the bridge, he’s seen several people jump off.

“The water is shallow and you can hit sand bars down there. If you jump feet first and hit that sand bar hard enough, it could jar your back and cause paralysis,” said Gull.
 He said the best solution would be to tear the bridge down.
“They need to take that one out and put a chain link fence up so people can’t jump off,” said Gull. “I’m down here all the time. I don’t want to see some child or teenager get hurt or possibly die again. If one child is saved, then it’s worth the money to destroy it and make it safe for them.”
In a statement to News4Utah, a spokesperson with Lehi City said,
“Our hearts go out to the family of the young man that was involved in this incident. As a city, we are currently investigating who owns this bridge and how we can make it safe for all community members.”
Officials with the Alpine School District confirmed Merrill was a student at Lone Peak High School and would have returned in August. They issued this statement to News4Utah:
“We were devastated by the news of Cole’s accidental death over the weekend. He was loved by many in his school community. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Merrill family. Lone Peak High School administration has had counselors on hand today and will continue to make available  supports throughout the week if any student is needing someone to talk to.”

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