LAUREL, Miss. (WHLT) – A man in Laurel was knocked unconscious after he fell headfirst off a bridge.

Jessie Kelly was injured between the pedestrian bridge and the closed vehicle bridge that runs across at 5th Street and Arco Lane. He dropped his cane and was trying to retrieve it when he fell. 

“I crossed the bridge down to the corner there, and all of a sudden my cane fell down. Then I fell down in there trying to get it right, and so during the process, I got ten staples here in my head, and so, I’ve had seizures and stuff now,” said Kelly.

If it wasn’t for Kelly’s neighbor, Thomas Smith, his injury could have been fatal. 

“I thought he had done broke his neck and lost his life. My instinct kicked in, you know. I was hollering for help, and finally they did call 911. I’m just thankful that he’s standing here beside me, and he’s alive,” said Smith.

While the bridge is closed, the sidewalk is not. Many people said they use the sidewalk to go to a local community center and a local store.

However, they said it was the condition of the sidewalk that led to Kelly getting hurt. City leaders said now they’ve already tried to make advances to get the issue fixed.

“It’s been closed for probably for at least a year in a half now. We applied for emergency road bridge funds from MDOT on last year. We were not awarded the grant. We have applied again this year,” said Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee.

According to the mayor’s office, the bridge replacement will be a little over $1 million to repair. If granted, the city proposes to fund approximately 10% of that.