UNION CITY -- A man who leapt from a Bay Area overpass onto a busy freeway during rush-hour traffic Tuesday morning survived the jump and managed to avoid being hit, but suffered major injuries from the more than 50-foot fall, police said.

Officers were called at 7:15 a.m. to the northbound lanes of Interstate 880 after a passer-by reported that a man leapt from the north side of the Alvarado Niles Road overpass into oncoming traffic, police said.

"It's a miracle he's alive," Union City Police Cmdr. Ben Horner said of the man who managed to avoid being struck by a vehicle during the busy morning commute. The jump forced drivers to swerve to avoid striking the man after he hit the pavement, Horner said.

When police and paramedics arrived, Horner said, they found the man lying in the northbound lanes of traffic -- about 50 feet below the overpass.

"When we got there he was on the ground semiconscious, Horner said.

Paramedics transported the man, who suffered major but non life-threatening injuries, to a hospital where he remained in critical condition on Tuesday afternoon.

The man, who police said is in his 50s, suffered major injuries including broken bones,

His identity was not immediately known because police said he was not carrying an ID card.

A motive for the jump was not known, but foul play was not suspected.

"We would suggest it was a suicide attempt since there is no easy way to fall off the overpass," Horner said.


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The incident remained under investigation on Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the jumper is asked to call police at 510-471-1365.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.