Toddlers survive father’s intentional jump from bridge in Wanaque

Two young children are lucky to be alive after their father intentionally jumped off an overpass bridge in Wanaque.

State police say John Spincken, 37, intentionally jumped from the Wanaque Bridge on Interstate 287 around 8 p.m. Monday. He was holding his 1- and 3-year-old sons at the time.

Investigators say Spincken, of Pequannock, got into an argument with his wife while out with the children. He apparently made a threat against the children, prompting his wife to call police.

Police say Spincken parked on I-287 South in Wanaque, climbed on top of his car and jumped off the bridge. Spincken was killed, but the children survived.

"It appears the children may have made contact with the trees in the midst of their fall, which hopefully helped cushion the impact," says Pequannock Police Capt. Christopher DePuyt.

The 1-year-old boy is said to have a concussion, a fractured rib and a bruised lung. The 3-year-old boy sustained a concussion.

The two boys were still at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson as of Tuesday evening. A spokesperson for the hospital says they have been upgraded to fair condition.

Police and neighbors say there were no signs of marital or domestic troubles with the Spincken family until Monday night.

"Something really had to go wrong. They looked loving. They really did," says neighbor Abe Balasis.

Kean University's Be The Change community activist group came to the family's home Tuesday to leave teddy bears for the children.

"A lot of people know about mental health issues, and they wanted to reach out do something right away for the family," says Kean University's Dr. Norma Bowe.

Police say that no suicide note was found at the family's home or in the car. Police were able to find the boys by pinging Spincken's cellphone.

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