No Diving Allowed

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Hot temperatures and the cool water of Econfina Creek tempts many who live near the Porter Bridge off Highway 388 in northern Bay County, but after 27-year-old Dwayne Murphy dove headfirst off the bridge Sunday afternoon in front of his friends, he broke his neck and a vertebra in his back.

His mother, Deanna Murphy, says he is still in very critical condition.

"Dwayne was raised around the creek. He's always been there, he's always swam there. He just thought it was safe. He had no fear. It's not an unusual thing for him to go there every weekend and swim."

Latisha Murphy, Dwayne's sister, could barely hold back the tears while talking about her brother.

"For someone who's so fearless to jump off that bridge, he ain't so fearless anymore. He's in a lot of pain. He don't know what's fixing to happen to him."

The Bay County Sheriff's Office says they know Porter Bridge is a hotspot for swimmers, and the signs posted on the bridge warn against taking a plunge.

State law prohibits jumping from public bridges. County law fines jumpers $500 and carries a sentence up to 60 days in jail, but Dwayne's sister says that won't stop anyone.

"They're going to do it, but if they seen what I seen last night, because I won't ever go back there again. My brother has steel rods in his skull."

Murphy does not have medical insurance, so his family has set up a benefit bank account to help pay the hospital bills. You can make donations at any People's First Community Bank branch.


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