Man who died from bluff fall was firefighter

Published 8:11 pm Friday, May 28, 2021

NATCHEZ (AP) — A wildland firefighter fell to his death after jumping a fence in Natchez and landing 100 feet below.

Natchez Police Department Cmdr. Scott Frye said Evan Batson, 34, worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a traveling fireman.

He was with co-workers when the incident occurred Wednesday night near the Bridge of Sighs on the Natchez Bluff, news outlets reported.

The group had gone to dinner and, afterward, were walking to a nearby casino. That’s when Batson decided to take a shortcut from the top of the bluff to a grassy area below by jumping a fence, but he jumped too far.

Frye said the drop was about 100 feet down.

Batson’s co-workers, who are trained emergency medical technicians, managed to get to him and began giving him first-aid before calling 911. Natchez firefighters also arrived to help.

“There was no motor vehicle access where he was,” Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said. “All the while, they were trying to stop his bleeding.”

Batson, who was from Colorado, was later pronounced dead. A hometown was not immediately available.