Man asks for safety upgrades after near drowning in Antioch park

Man nearly drowns on Antioch bridge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man who nearly drowned in a Nashville park is hoping Metro adds a few safety upgrades.

Man nearly drowns on Antioch bridge
Mill Creek Park Greenway

Brandon Massey was out for a walk with his dog, Bella, and his six-year-old granddaughter at the Mill Creek Park Greenway in Antioch Saturday.

The dog, a pit bull mix, likes to swim and play fetch in Mill Creek. There’s an old concrete bridge across the creek that has five large pipes to allow water downstream. There are no railings or warning signs about flooding dangers near the bridge.

On Saturday, with high water just over the top of the bridge, Bella lost her footing and fell into the creek.

Even though she was on a leash, Massey couldn’t pull the dog from the strong current, and Bella was sucked into one of the pipes under the bridge.

Massey climbed into the waist-deep water to try and pull her out, only to see her pop out on the other side. As he let go of the leash, he realized he was also being sucked into the pipe.

“I knew I wasn’t coming out either,” said Massey. “So I just had to hold my breath and let go. The current was so strong it treated me like I was just a rag doll.”

Man nearly drowns on Antioch bridge
Brandon Massey

Massey eventually made it through to the other side, bruised and scraped but alive.

His granddaughter was never near the water and was not in danger at the time of the incident.

Massey said he would like to see Metro Parks and Recreation put up a barrier or signage to warn people about the dangers of high water at the bridge. Officials with Metro’s Greenways said they will look into the matter and decide if any changes should be made.

There are signs at trail heads to the greenways, but the nearest one is more than ¼ mile away from the bridge.

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