Alberta daredevil fined after jumping from 95-metre bridge, posting YouTube video
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:13AM EST
A 25-year-old Lethbridge, Alta. daredevil has been fined after jumping off a 95-metre-high train bridge, then posting a video of the stunt to YouTube.
In the video, Johnny Korthuis walks to the centre of the Lethbridge Viaduct, then climbs onto the railing, pauses for a moment, and leaps off. Korthuis triggers a parachute immediately after jumping, then drifts to the ground below.
The slickly-produced video -- which Korthuis said he created in partnership with one of his sponsors -- has more than 14,000 views on YouTube.
Though Korthuis has been applauded by his supporters, local police and CP Rail are less than impressed. They fear the video will inspire others to mimic what is a potentially deadly stunt.
"As a police service, we're concerned that the notoriety this video seems to be generating could potentially lead to copycats. And the last thing we want to have to do is go and knock on somebody's door and tell them that their loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a stunt of this kind," said Kristen Harding, of the Lethbridge Regional Police Service.
Korthuis, a well-known adventure athlete and performer who often puts on extreme cycling demonstrations to promote sports equipment and cycling safety, said he had no intention of promoting harm.
"By no means did I ever want to inspire unsafe or illegal behavior. Safety is priority one and you want to be able to do the things you love for your whole life rather than getting reckless and doing things for the adrenaline rush," Korthuis told CTV Calgary.
He added: "My motives are not to be reckless or to be bad ass or anything like that, but I just simply had a goal, one that I had been looking forward to achieving for a long time."
Other videos on YouTube feature Korthuis rock-climbing, sky-diving and mountain-biking.
Kevin Hyrsak, a spokesperson for CP Rail, said Korthuis' intentions may not have been malicious, but that doesn't change the fact he is putting others in danger.
"Regardless of the comments made from this individual, this type of behaviour does promote this type of illegal behaviour whether that is the intention or not," Hyrsak said. "It is an extremely dangerous activity and an illegal activity."
Korthuis said he knew it was illegal to jump from the bridge and intends to pay the $287 fine.
The 95.7-metre Lethbridge Viaduct -- also known as the High Level Bridge -- crosses the Oldman River and is the largest railway structure in Canada.
With a report from CTV Calgary