WANAQUE, N.J. — A father died and his two children survived on Monday after the man apparently leaped from a bridge in New Jersey holding his kids, state police said in a Facebook post.
Police said the incident took place on the Interstate 287 overpass near the Wanaque River in the northern part of the state.
The man later was spotted in a wooded area and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Investigators believe the man intentionally jumped.
Police are investigating the incident and will provide an update on Tuesday.
The children, ages 3 and 1, are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital.
Troopers learned of the incident after the Pequannock Police Department reported a possible suicide attempt about 8:08 p.m.
The family’s nightmare began when the children’s parents got into an argument inside their Greenview Drive home in Pequannock and suddenly the man stormed off with the kids, threatening to “kill” the boys, police told PIX11.
“Happened very quickly and [the domestic disturbance] became secondary to why we were called there after he threatened to do harm to the boys,” Pequannock Police captain Christopher DePuyt said.
Police tracked them down via GPS on the father’s cellphone and narrowed the location to a highway bridge on the I-287 over the Wanaque River known for suicide attempts.
“That bridge is a place where suicides have been attempted and committed before,” DePuyt said.
Investigators believe the father climbed on top of his car and scaled an 8-foot “suicide prevention fence” with the boys before jumping off the bridge.
When responding officers arrived, they spotted the man’s car parked on the bridge and began searching for them underneath the overpass.
All three were found in close proximity of each other.
DePuyt said the boys were conscious when police found them. The one-year-old has a bruised lung and a concussion while the three-year-old only has a concussion, police said.
Not only did they survive a terrifying drop, they landed within the woods located beneath the bridge and not the river.
“It’s a miracle [they survived],” DePuty said.
CNN Wire and PIX11 contributed to this report.