Woman Fleeing CHP Jumps from Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

A Coast Guard helicopter plucked from the water a fleeing woman who leaped 20 feet from Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to escape the CHP and swam almost two hours in the Bay before nearly making it to Corte Madera shoreline.

A Novato woman was hospitalized early today, Sunday, after she eluded law enforcement officers by jumping off the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and spending almost two hours in the waters of San Francisco Bay, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Kathryn Tynes, 30, was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard swimmer just before 4 a.m. and sent to Stanford Medical Center for treatment, said CHP Sgt. Marcus Bartholomew.

The CHP's pursuit of Tynes began at 1:59 a.m. when an officer saw a Ford Focus weaving on southbound Highway 101 near the Central San Rafael exit, Bartholomew said. Tynes initially yielded during a traffic stop at Bellam Boulevard, but then stepped on the gas and took off again, heading east on Interstate 580 toward the bridge.

With lights and siren blaring, the CHP unit pursued Tynes at high speed, Bartholomew said. Just before Tynes got to the incline section of the bridge, she pulled over to the right shoulder and stopped, got out of the car, ran to the south side of the bridge and jumped.

Bartholomew said it was about 20 feet from the bridge to the water at that part of the span.

CHP officers attempted to speak to the driver as she swam under the bridge roadway, but after several minutes, she began to swim in a southwest direction toward and the marshlands of Corte Madera. The CHP alerted the Coast Guard, a Tiburon Police boat, a commercial tugboat, San Rafael Police, Marin County Sheriff’s Deputies, San Quentin prison guard staff and additional CHP units.

At about 3:46 a.m., a Coast Guard helicopter located Tynes in shallow, muddy water between the area of Marin Country Day School in Corte Madera and Paradise Cay, roughly 2.3 miles south of where she jumped off the bridge.

A Coast Guard swimmer was lowered from the helicopter and plucked Tynes from the bay. She was transported to Stanford Medical Center via the helicopter, and she was cited for obstructing peace officers, refusing to comply with police orders, driving with a suspended or revoked license and a probation violation, Bartholomew said.


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