Rugby player Meafua dies after celebratory jump from bridge

View Original Notice ? Rugby player Meafua dies after celebratory jump from bridge

MONTAUBAN, France (AP) — Samoan rugby player Kelly Meafua has died after jumping from a bridge in France, his club said.

Montauban, a club in France’s second division, said in a statement that the 31-year-old player died in the early hours of Saturday after being pulled from the Tarn River.

According to media reports in France, Meafua jumped off the bridge during a night out with friends to celebrate the team’s victory Friday over Narbonne.

The club’s statement said one of Meafua’s teammates tried to rescue him. That player had to be taken to a hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia.

“Kelly was a player who was well liked by everybody. His joy for life was infectious and radiant. Today we have lost a player, a friend and a brother,” the statement said.

The roadway of the Pont-Vieux is about 60 feet above the river in Montauban, a city near Toulouse.

Jean-Baptiste Fourcade, a spokesman for US Montauban, told CNN on Monday that the Montauban prosecutor has opened an investigation into Meafua’s death, adding that officials are looking at it as a “tragedy” and not “a bad ending to a party.”

Meafua, a former Samoa sevens player, moved to New Zealand as a teenager and played with teams there and in Australia. He moved to France in 2015 and played for second-division teams Narbonne and Beziers before signing with Montauban.

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View Original Notice ? Rugby player Meafua dies after celebratory jump from bridge