• updated: 08.20.16
|12.17.14: The 'Black Nightmare'|
12.17.14, edmontonjournal.com, For a century, Edmonton's beautiful and terrible High Level Bridge has been a draw for the desperate and distressed.
Tad Hargrave sat on a park bench in the darkness of a chilly March night, a moment of quiet reflection before walking home across the High Level Bridge.
It was late evening and the west pedestrian path appeared deserted. Halfway across the bridge Hargrave, a 38-year-old marketing coach, saw another person, standing on the other side of the black railing, readying to jump to the frozen North Saskatchewan River below.
Edmonton’s High Level Bridge opened in June 1913 after three years of construction to workmen’s cheers and citizens’ hurrahs as the first train crossed the bridge. “North and South Side Now Linked by High Level,” proclaimed an Edmonton Journal headline. The new artery joined the cities on either side, playing a key role in their amalgamation, the lifeblood between the riverbanks. But from the start, the bridge built to connect has inadvertently served as a fatal exit.
It’s not known how many people have died by suicide in the High Level Bridge’s 101-year history, or how many people have been saved. In 1945, the Journal reported 10 deaths in 10 years, and by 1949 at least 15 people were known to have jumped. More recent statistics vary depending on who you talk to: Alberta’s chief medical examiner recorded four deaths in 2013 and six in 2012, while Edmonton Police Service recorded no suicides from the High Level Bridge in 2013 and one in 2012.
Journal archives contain numerous articles detailing jumps, falls and plunges: “The suicide victim uttered no cry as his body twisted over in the air a few times”; “A wrist watch stopped at 11:05, indicated that at that hour the woman had plunged to her death”; “A young man left a verbal message for his wife — ‘tell her I love her’ — then jumped.”
A handful of accounts detail survivals from the 46-metre fall. In 1992, a 17-year-old girl was found shivering, bruised and frightened, but otherwise unharmed, when fire department rescuers reached her standing on ice.
The accounts describe a tragic toll, but over the years the bridge’s dark history has been rarely acknowledged.
An alderman’s suggestion in 1986 to put up signs asking suicidal people not to jump was deemed goofy. In 2002, a local crisis centre installed “There is Help” signs at the bridge’s north and south entrances, but they were vandalized and later removed.
Suicide from the bridge was the subject of a 2010 film that begins with filmmaker Trevor Anderson’s voice: “It’s where people who live in Edmonton go when we’re finally ready to kill ourselves.”
There are no memorials on the bridge to the men and women who have died. Without first recognizing the tragedy, it’s difficult to address what brings people to this place and how to prevent future loss.
The two strangers stood in the dark on opposite sides of the railing. “Dude, don’t come any closer.” Hargrave stopped about three metres from the man. “OK,” he said. The man’s arms were slung over the railing, hanging on. “Just go away, man. I don’t want you to see this. Turn around and walk away,” he said. Hargrave did not move.
After the talk before the city committee and all the interviews with the media were done, after he brought a mock-up of the current railing on the High Level Bridge and demonstrated how easy it is to scale, Dan Klemke drove under what he calls the “black nightmare” and parked his car beside the Royal Glenora Club. He sat there for a couple hours, thinking and praying.
Living in St. Albert, the High Level Bridge had barely been on his radar, though Klemke says it’s “tribal knowledge” the bridge is where people go when they’re in distress. He never anticipated one of those people would be his wife.
Marilyn Klemke jumped off the bridge Jan. 2, 2013. A few days earlier, she was prescribed a new sleeping medication. Suicidal ideation was a side-effect. Since then, Klemke has urged city council to examine suicide prevention barriers on the bridge. Instead of shying away, he has stepped into the limelight.
Two months after Marilyn died, Klemke, the chief executive officer of a local mining company, asked former mayor Stephen Mandel what could be done. Klemke was surprised the topic hadn’t been broached in recent memory. The bridge is a problem, he recalls Mandel saying.
Height and accessibility make the bridge a magnet for suicidal people, said Dr. Michael Trew, chief addiction and mental health officer with Alberta Health.
A number of factors “swirl together” to draw people to the bridge. “We know that for impulsive acts, having something that stands out, that seems readily available like the High Level Bridge, that’s more likely to invite action to that impulse,” he said.
Other cities facing similar issues have erected suicide prevention barriers, but reviews are mixed.
In 2003, Toronto installed the Luminous Veil, a suicide barrier along the Bloor Street Viaduct. There haven’t been any suicides there since, but a 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found Toronto’s suicide rate remained unchanged.
This June, officials in San Francisco approved $76 million for suicide prevention nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. Since 1937, it’s estimated 1,600 people have taken their lives from the landmark.
Klemke remains determined something positive will come out of his wife’s death. “I am standing up on this issue now,” he said. “I will not sit down until it’s addressed.”
Hargrave introduced himself to the man standing on the other side of the railing.
“My name’s Tad, what’s your name?”
The man didn’t answer.
Finally, he spoke: “I can’t do this.”
“That’s good, just hang on,” Hargrave said. “My name’s Tad, what’s your name?”
Early newspaper reports treated suicide as a factual occurrence that needed to be shared. Who died and how was reported in great detail in the early 20th century, said Gemma Richardson, a University of Western Ontario PhD candidate studying how Canadian newspapers cover suicide.
That changed in the 1970s and 1980s, when a series of studies linked media coverage to suicide rates. It sent a chill through newsrooms, Richardson said, and that, coupled with the fact suicide was removed from the Criminal Code of Canada in 1972, led reporters to scale back coverage.
“More newsrooms stopped covering suicide as it was looked at as a health issue, something private, not a criminal thing,” Richardson said.
Newer studies discredit the contagion theory, finding that when media mostly stopped covering suicide, there was no clear drop in deaths. Although Canadian media now addresses teen suicide, the overall rate among teens remains stable.
Not just the media is discussing the topic more readily. In 2006, a senate standing committee published a landmark report about the state of mental health care and addictions services in Canada.
Ione Challborn, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Edmonton region, said Out of the Shadows at Last started a conversation among different levels of government and organizations. It was also the catalyst for the Mental Health Commission of Canada whose mandate is to provide an “ongoing national focus on mental health issues.”
“Suicide is a leading cause of death,” Challborn said. “We believe it is a preventable death and so it is one we should be paying a lot of attention to.”
Statistics Canada ranked suicide as the 9th leading cause of death in Canada in 2011, behind cancer, heart disease and stroke and ahead of homicides and fatal car crashes. There were 3,728 deaths by suicide in 2011.
The suicide rate in Alberta has declined over the past two decades, but it remains ranked between second and fourth place among Canadian provinces, said Trew. In 2012, the most recent year for which Alberta Health statistics are available, suicide was at its lowest rate since 1983.
A comprehensive look at the number of people jumping from the High Level Bridge has not been undertaken, said Kris Andreychuk, supervisor of community safety with the city, who worked on a report about barrier options for city council. “Depending on who you talk to, you’re going to get different numbers,” he said.
If a body is found beside the bridge or in Beverly, downstream from the High Level, for example, it may not be counted as a suicide from the bridge. The other problem is that it can take time, sometimes up to two years, to fully investigate a suspected suicide and finalize the cause of death.
Edmonton Police Service records calls for service to the bridge, attempted, and completed suicides. As of August 9, there were 118 calls for service, including 26 suicide attempts and two suicides this year. In 2013, there were 158 calls for service, including 33 suicide attempts and no suicides.
Nancy McCalder, executive director of The Support Network, believes the number of suicides from the bridge is higher than reported. The organization’s 24/7 distress line for the Edmonton region gets more than 12,000 calls a year, more than 30 per cent are suicide-related.
McCalder talks about the pain a suicidal person is experiencing, about their struggle to cope, about what can lead them to think killing themselves is the solution.
“We just don’t talk about (suicide) enough and we need to,” McCalder said. “It’s affecting workplaces, it’s affecting families, it’s affecting everything. We need to start having these conversations.”
As a police car arrived on the bridge, Hargrave continued to encourage the man to hang on to the railing, to life.
“Just hold on,” he said. “Hold on a little tighter.”
The man looked down, his gaze lost in the darkness of the river below.
For first responders, calls to the 755-metre long bridge require careful co-ordination. Members from Edmonton police, Edmonton fire rescue and EMS work together, contending with scores of onlookers and commuters.
When police are dispatched to a call — a passerby spots somebody hoisting themselves over the railing, or a family member calls about a distraught relative on their way to the bridge — patrol officers are typically first on scene.
Officers aim to be as low key and as sensitive as possible. They try to talk with the person, and may cordon off the bridge from pedestrian and vehicle traffic to minimize distractions.
“It really is, for that person, a choice between life and death,” said Acting Sgt. Chris Hunter, who started studying ways to improve safety after responding to numerous calls on the bridge.
The calls are stressful, Hunter said. “You’re talking to (the suicidal person) and you’re getting them to come up with their own solution of why to come over.
That’s part of the pressure: how do I find the place in their life right now that they can hear life speaking rather than death speaking?”
Some calls are resolved in minutes, others can take hours and require EPS’s crisis negotiator unit. Firefighters may be deployed for river rescue or body recovery.
Old Strathcona firefighters must drive to their boat storage site in Rossdale. While crews can launch within three minutes, the drive to Rossdale can take ten minutes or longer. This system creates “an unacceptable delay,” said Edmonton Fire Rescue Chief Ken Block.
The calls, especially body recovery missions, can be emotionally intense.
“It can often be hours, days or even weeks after the fact before the real, full impact of what was experienced is felt,” Block said.
In some cases first responders are not notified until it’s too late, after someone is seen jumping.
But if the person contemplating jumping hesitates, police may have time to intervene. If the person is talked off, EMS and police will take them to a hospital for assessment and help.
“Just hold on man. Just keep holding on,” Hargrave said.
“I can’t do this,” the man said over and over.
He repeated those words as he leaned out, farther away from the railing, from the police officers, from the stranger who stopped to help, from the world.
He let go.
There are many reasons why people choose to let go. Half or more could be diagnosed as depressed, said Trew, with Alberta Health. Some have problems with substance abuse. When those two things combine, people may be more impulsive. Other factors include loss of employment, housing, relationships, economic security and isolation from what creates meaning in their lives.
While women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die because they tend to use more violent means.
Men between the ages of 35 and 55 are most at risk, followed by men under the age of 25.
“As a community, if we want to respond, we need to look for ways to make it safe for men to talk about how they feel,” Trew said.
The Support Network’s McCalder believes in addition to making the bridge safer, more resources need to go into prevention. “Let’s get to people before they even get to the bridge,” she said.
Mental health issues and suicide prevention are not funded like cancer or heart disease, a fact that’s apparent to front line organizations. The Support Network must fundraise 50 per cent of the 24/7 distress line’s $500,000 budget.
Police officers also witness the strains at the emergency room, where they say sometimes it’s too busy for suicidal people to receive proper psychiatric care. Unless the suicidal person is really aware of what’s going on and determined to get better, there may not be much followup.
Challborn, with the Canadian Mental Health Association, adds that some people don’t have supportive family or friends, so they end up getting released without support.
“There aren’t enough beds in hospital for somebody to come and stay for a period of time and get stabilized,” she said. “It’s a struggle.”
Hargrave watched as the man fell. There was nothing else he could do.
He looked away right before the end. That’s when he heard the man’s body hit the ice, a sickening sound. It was so loud.
Death by suicide is a “complicated loss,” said Trew, in which family and friends often feel an intense combination of loss, anger, and shame.
“People tend to be silent about death by suicide that has touched them, and so it becomes like many secrets that tend to trouble people in a very hidden way,” he said.
At The Support Network, Ofelia Leon helps people experiencing a loss to suicide.
“People may not be familiar with such intense emotions,” Leon said. “They have to see those validated, to see it’s normal.”
When events occur in a public place, such as the High Level Bridge, the suicide attempt or death may also traumatize witnesses and first responders.
Bruno Mercier was biking across the bridge’s west pathway last year when he saw a man climb over the railing.
Mercier screamed, “What the heck are you doing?” A woman got out of a passing car to help.
For about 45 minutes, Mercier and the woman talked to the man, who said little.
“The one thing I thought was important was I can’t leave him,” Mercier said.
Police officers arrived and talked to the man for about two minutes — Mercier didn’t hear what they said — and convinced him to climb back over the railing.
Mercier described the situation as “very emotional,” compounded by the fact he was on his way to the Cross Cancer Institute to see his dying father.
“I always wonder what I’d do different,” Mercier said of the incident. “I don’t see what I could do different, but every time I’m on the bridge, I think about it.”
Leon oversees The Support Network’s suicide grief support program for caregivers looking after someone contemplating suicide and people who have lost a loved one to suicide. The program holds an annual memorial event and potlucks.
“The community events break the isolation people can feel,” Leon said.
For friends of Louise Veillard, a 26-year-old woman who jumped off the High Level Bridge in May, gathering for an outdoor potluck and ceremony near the bridge was an opportunity to honour Veillard’s life and acknowledge how she died.
“The choice Lou made is not shameful or a secret,” said Veillard’s partner, Melanie Lintott. The program handed out at the ceremony was adorned with a drawing of the High Level Bridge and colourful flowers. A pile of pins with a picture of a bunny said, “It’s OK not to be OK.”
Standing in a large circle in Constable Ezio Faraone Park, people were invited to smudge, an aboriginal tradition believed to cleanse the body, mind and spirit so healing can begin.
The police officers asked Hargrave if he could make a statement, and drove him home. Later that night two people from victim services came to Hargrave’s house. People don’t always stop, they told him, they keep moving, unsure of what to do or say.
“How many people go alone, with no one noticing?” Hargrave wonders.
Nearly a year after city councillors voted to study securing the High Level Bridge to reduce suicides, a new council will convene Monday to make a decision about the bridge’s future.
In February, council’s community services committee approved installing signs on the bridge about how to reach help and spending about $20,000 to install four call boxes with direct service to 911 and the 24/7 distress line. The committee also asked for additional input from mental health experts and more details about three barrier options.
But will fences or phones fix a strained mental health care system?
“I don’t know what the answer is to this problem, unless there’s someone there to help when you call and a system to provide comprehensive treatment and follow up,” said Lori Assheton-Smith, whose brother Glenn died after jumping from the High Level Bridge in September 2013. Family unsuccessfully sought help for Glenn many times in the five weeks before his death. Each time they went to the hospital’s emergency department Glenn, who expressed suicidal thoughts, was not admitted.
“In our case, what we found was those supports just were not there,” she said.
In January 2011, seven years after Eugene Cormier was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he left Alberta Hospital and jumped off the bridge. His sister Gina Cormier said having phones on the bridge might help people like her brother, who she believes became more hopeless, isolated and scared in his illness.
On Thursday, the city released a report suggesting barriers can decrease suicide rates over all and will not simply move the problem elsewhere. The barrier options would cost between $1.1 million and $7.4 million. Proposals would leave the existing guard rails in place, and add either a new chain-link fence, horizontal tension cable or a new vertical stainless steel tension cable with a steel frame.
It’s hoped the barriers would create a moment of reconsideration for people in crisis.
The bridge already underwent a major change July 1, when 60,000 programmable LED lights were installed across the span as part of Light the Bridge, a $2.5-million crowdfunded project. More than 300 businesses and about 10,700 people donated to the campaign.
One of those people was Klemke, widow of Marilyn, who said the project helps turn the bridge from a “monument to tragedy” to a place of celebration. But he’s unsure if more lights will stop suicidal people, such as his wife, who jumped just after lunchtime.
Andreychuk, with the city, is mindful many considerations must be made before suicide barriers are installed.
“Everyone has an opinion on the bridge and it’s very complex, and I think that’s at the heart of the issue,” Andreychuk said.
For now, consensus exists on the importance of council finally broaching the difficult topic.
“Just the conversation that’s occurring is a positive one,” said Block, the fire chief. “The more conversations that we have around mental health, the more understood it is and the more people realize that any of us can experience a mental health issue at some point during our lives.”
Every time Hargrave crosses the High Level Bridge, he thinks about the man who jumped.
Now he checks the other side of the railing, watching for people who may be in distress.
“I’m always looking,” he said. “I notice if somebody is just standing there, looking down at the water. I want to stop and ask them if they’re OK.”
On a recent warm summer evening the High Level bridge teems with activity, belying the bridge’s tragic reputation. Traffic thumps along as joggers, bicyclists and pedestrians crowd the west and east walkways, some pausing to take in the view.
Cormier used to love riding her bike on the bridge, the spot “where the city joins,” an icon linking north to south.
“To me, I saw it as a place to be free,” she said.
After her brother Eugene jumped to his death, her feelings changed.
“I had more anger and hatred toward an inanimate thing than I ever thought was possible,” she said.
Three years after her brother’s death, Cormier was riding the LRT when she looked up at the High Level Bridge, at the spot where her brother spent the last moment of his life.
“I looked out and it just looked so pretty. It always looks so pretty, that view to me,” she said. “My heart felt like it was free again.”
|04.29.14: unidentified man devoured by crocodiles after jumping from a bridge.|
ticotimes.net, Unidentified man devoured by crocodiles after jumping from a bridge over the Tárcoles River
An unidentified man leapt from the main bridge over the Tárcoles River, near Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, on Tuesday evening at approximately 5:20 p.m. in what is believed to be a suicide, Jim Batres, assistant director for the Costa Rican Red Cross, told The Tico Times.
After falling into the water, the man reportedly was eaten by the river’s famously abundant crocodiles.
Citing the testimonies of unidentified witnesses at the scene, Batres said the man had been causing a disturbance on the bridge earlier in the evening and was removed by police. He then went to a bar before returning to the bridge and leaping into the river.
Batres said the man’s identity could not immediately be confirmed, and members of a Red Cross search team were unable to recover the body as of 7:50 p.m. Tuesday night.
A conflicting report in the daily La Nación said the victim did not jump from the bridge, but tried to swim in the river from the shore when he was attacked by a crocodile and disappeared. The report said a friend identified him as a Nicaraguan named Omar, but gave no last name.
Situated on the highway between San José and the popular beach town Jacó, the bridge over the Tárcoles River has become a popular pit stop for tourists looking to catch a glimpse of the river’s many American crocodiles. Recently, photographers and tour guides have grown more adventurous, filling up YouTube with videos of Tárcoles croc feedings and near misses.
|12.08.13: The Overtoun or "Dog Suicide" Bridge.|
atlasobscura.com, Bridge causes dogs to leap to their death for mysterious reasons.
Located near the village of Milton in the burgh of Dumbarton, Scotland, exists a bridge that for some reason or another, has been attracting suicidal dogs since the early 60s. At a rate of around one a month, dogs have been regularly leaping from the bridge; an estimated 600 have been reported jumping.
Even more strange are the circumstances behind these incidents of kamikaze canines. Not only have they been plummeting to their deaths from the bridge, but many have witnessed the dogs actually climbing the parapet wall before making the jump. Even stranger are the reports of dogs surviving their brush with death, only to return to the bridge for a second attempt.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has sent representatives to investigate, but they too were stumped by the cause of the strange behavior.
In truth, it is almost certain that these dogs are not "committing suicide," (a concept that makes little sense in reference to animals) and that they do not intend to die, but rather something is luring them off the bridge before the dogs have time to realize the height. Though many theories have arisen on why these doggy 'suicides' occur at such a regular pace, perhaps the best theory is that a mink is marking the area with very strong scent, and that scent, combined with the bridge wall which makes it impossible for the dogs to realize the height, send the canines leaping over the edge after the compelling scent.
While this lines up with the evidence, - such as the deaths having occurred on sunny, dry days when the scent would have been strongest and with the time-line of mink introduction to Scotland - this no doubt does little to soothe the troubled soul of the dog's owner, who suicide or not, has lost a furry friend.
12.08.16, boldsky.com, Have You Heard About Dog's Suicide Bridge?
01.28.17, travelerstoday.com, The Most Number Of Dogs Jumping To Their Deaths
|12.01.13: One Person's Suicide Affects Police, Witnesses|
magicvalley.com, By BRIAN SMITH,
TWIN FALLS • That day, the clouds were gorgeous.
As Luanne Plott Horting walked the Perrine Bridge on Nov. 4 taking photos of them, waiting as she usually does to photograph BASE jumpers.
She heard a cop’s sirens in the distance.
Then, the Twin Falls woman they call BASE Mom saw something horrifying — a man without a parachute was mounting the rail. A Twin Falls police officer approached the man and tried to talk him out of letting go of the rail.
“I thought, ‘He’s not going to jump, he can’t do that,’” she said. “So I took a picture of him up there because there was nobody around but me and the cop. Then, he just let go. As soon as he got halfway, I turned my head.“
That night, Horting tossed and turned. When she closed her eyes she saw him falling to his death.
Suicide from the Perrine Bridge is not uncommon. She wasn’t the first to witness it and she won’t be the last. Idaho regularly has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, according to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho. About one in five Idaho adults say they have been diagnosed with depression.
Nov. 4 wasn’t the first time Horting has been exposed to suicide.
Last August, after photographing about 20 BASE jumpers and making sure they landed safely, Horting walked off the bridge hungry and headed for breakfast.
She passed a woman carrying an old fashioned purse, something kind of like what her grandmother would have worn, she said. Horting greeted her and nothing seemed unusual. Then, after Horting disappeared from her sight, the woman with the purse jumped.
“I didn’t actually see it, but there were a lot of things that went through my mind,” she said. “What if I would have talked to her a little bit longer until the police would have gotten there?
“You get all of those ’what ifs.’ I struggled with what ifs for a long time.“
Suicide affects everyone differently, said Lori Stewart, co-chair of the local Suicide Prevention Action Network group and Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
Suicide is not solitary, she said. Every death makes ripples through the community, especially when it’s as public a display as jumping from the Perrine Bridge.
“There are going to be a ton of people that are affected by it — the first responders and others — but I think the person that takes their life is not in a place to recognize that or see that,” she said.
Questions and Answers
Horting went back to the bridge the next day. She remembered what her grandfather used to tell her: “If you fall off a horse, the best thing to do is get back on it and ride it.“
But, she was frozen by fear.
A group of four BASE jumpers from Quebec asked Horting, lost in her mental dilemma, if she would be taking their photo today. She explained what happened and they said, “You’ve got to get back on that bridge; you’ve got to do it now or you’ll never do it,” she said.
She photographed them, but not a single picture turned out. She was shaking nervously.
“As I was walking off the bridge, I stood where he jumped and it was like a peaceful calm came over me,” she said.
In the days after, Horting said she felt overwhelmed by the outpouring of support she received. Her posts on Facebook and a mention of her witnessing the suicide in the media had alerted friends. People called and texted worried sick. People she had only met once stopped to console her.
They couldn’t imagine what the soft-hearted matriarch was going through.
“It’s bothered me, but yet, I haven’t cried,” she said.
Even she thinks it’s strange. Perhaps her reaction was tempered by her exposure to photographing thousands of BASE jumps over the years. Perhaps if she had not turned her head. Perhaps if it was not for her strong faith.
“People don’t understand and they said, ’You are so strong,’ but I don’t know if I’m strong,” she said. “If you interviewed me two months from now I might just fall apart.“
What she knows for sure is that it would have been much harder without the outpouring of support. But she still wonders why. Why was she there to witness this? Was it happenstance or was she placed there by a higher power? If so, why?
“You wonder,” she said. “Some questions you really can’t answer.“
Horting often thinks of the police officer who tried to talk the man back from the ledge.
She hopes to meet him and thank him.
Twin Falls City spokesman Joshua Palmer said the officer was still coping with the incident.
“We are still working with our officer who is not prepared to talk about this tragic incident at this time,” said Twin Falls Police Capt. Anthony Barnhart. “We appreciate the community’s concern and support for everyone involved. The Twin Falls Police Department will continue to work with the appropriate agencies to try and prevent these incidents from devastating families in our community.”
Horting saved the photos she took in case the police needed to review them, as they have asked of her in the past, she said. She was deeply shaken when she reviewed them and said she plans to delete them. In the photo, the officer is talking to the man, but she can’t remember what he said.
“He had a very nice, pleasant voice — the officer — and I was very impressed,” she said. “I’ve been worried sick about him. So that bothered me more than anything even though I know they are trained.“
Most of the people who jump from the bridge do so before anyone can talk them out of it, Stewart said.
Officers try to talk those down who they encounter. Sometimes quickly establishing a personal connection can keep someone from jumping, but sometimes not, she said.
Witnessing that as a police officer — someone charged with public safety — could be extremely traumatizing.
“I think they take a lot of responsibility and have a certain amount of guilt,” Stewart said. “But, I also know that they know what they are getting into, that they can’t always prevent something like this.“
Many officers who witness suicides must take comfort in knowing they followed protocol and did all they could. For officers and others, therapy is important, she said.
“Some people are nonchalant about it and some people really have some issues,” Stewart said. “If it is something that is bothering you, affecting your daily life, then you definitely need to seek a professional, someone that can help you through that.“
As much attention as bridge suicides get, they are a small percentage local suicides. Officials like Stewart hope they can use that attention for good, to educate those considering suicide that there are other options.
“I really want people to think of the big picture and it is not only the bridge,” she said. “By the time we are there in those situations it is too late. It is really that issue of what can we do as a society in Twin Falls to prevent these suicides. That’s what drives me.
“We need to get the word out that there is hope.“
|11.16.13: m42 motorway in england closed for 26 hours as police negotiated with man.|
mirror.co.uk, M42 reopens after 26 HOURS as police negotiated with man threatening to jump from bridge.
Thousands of motorists were caught up in the disruption after the man wearing dark clothes and gloves was spotted behind the railings.
A motorway has finally reopened after police spent more than a DAY negotiating with a man threatening to jump off a bridge.
Thousands of motorists were caught up in the disruption after the man was spotted on a bridge near Bromsgrove at 12.45pm yesterday.
He was wearing dark clothes and gloves, and standing behind railings on the A38 road bridge over the M42 at Junction 1.
The motorway was closed between the M5 and Junction 2 of the M42 and specialist negotiators sent to talk the man.
As they patiently tried to coax him down, huge tailbacks steadily built up, despite diversions being set up.
Finally, after more than 26 hours on the bridge, specially-trained police negotiators finally talked the man down at around 3pm today.
No details about the man, who has been detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital, have yet been released.
Central Motorway Police Group said while the stretch of motorway has reopened, drivers should be warned that tailbacks remained.
Some people vented their anger on Twitter and Facebook labelling the man’s actions as “selfish”, but many others expressed their concern for him.
Chief Superintendent Martin Evans, head of the Central Motorway Police Group, said: "I'm conscious of the social media discussions.
"What I will say is that I'm satisfied the tactics put in place to ensure the safety of this man were appropriate."
11.28.13, birminghammail.co.uk, Outrage as councillor says police should have tasered M42 bridge jump threat man.
Solihull's Coun Linda Brown criticised police operations and said man 'held public to ransom'.
Traffic chaos on the M42 between junction 2 and 3 after a man threatened to jump from the bridge at junction 2 near Bromsgrove.
A Solihull councillor has been branded “disgusting” after claiming police should have tasered a man who threatened to jump onto the M42. Coun Linda Brown penned a furious letter to the Mail’s sister paper, The Solihull News, when her husband was caught up in the 26-hour emergency. The delay meant he missed a football match.
She condemned the police’s handling of the alert and accused the man involved, who was later detained under the Mental Health Act, of “having a paddy”.
In a second letter, Coun Brown insisted the man “should not have been allowed to hold the general public to ransom”.
She originally wrote: “I thought police were meant to keep traffic moving, not act as social workers to one person who decides to have a paddy and threaten to throw himself off a bridge.
“Why on earth did the police not Taser him or put a net underneath the motorway to catch him if he fell and get the traffic moving?”
Matthew Tapp, chairman of voluntary group Solihull Mind, said he was “disgusted” and the matter had been referred to the body’s national officials.
He said: “I would like to register my disgust at Coun Brown’s ignorance and contempt for people with mental health issues.
“Her husband may have missed a football match but the man’s family may have been spared having to go to a funeral.”
The M42 was closed near Bromsgrove on November 16 and 17 when the man threatened to jump from a bridge.
Coun Brown, who represents the Blythe ward for the Independent Ratepayers and Residents Association, has insisted she does not want to be seen as uncaring.
In her second letter she wrote: “I have been informed the man on the bridge was fed two meals by the police while he was there. But no concern for the general public?
“I can sympathise with the man in question but he should not have been allowed to hold the general public to ransom in this way.”
In an interview yesterday, she added: “I’m not talking about mental health here.
“I’m talking about the police. They are paid to solve crimes, this was not a crime and it is not what the public pays taxes for.”
Supt Kevin Purcell, of West Merica Police, said the only realistic and safe solution to the incident was to gradually persuade the man away from harm.
|11.01.13: vigil held for south bay teen who took his own life in bridge jump|
10news.com, Vigil held for South Bay teen who took his own life: Friends say
teen was victim of bullying. Otay Ranch HS student Steven Liu died Friday.
CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A vigil was held Saturday evening for an Otay Ranch High School student who took his own life.
Hundreds gathered at the spot where 16-year-old Steven Liu died Friday night. Police say Liu jumped off the bridge in front of Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista.
"He was just too young," said friend Eric Gonzalez. "He had a lot of things to live for."
Friends gathered to pray and remember the teen that loved running cross country for his school and had a passion for photography.
"When I see him, he's always happy," said friend Kenneth Gervacio. "I didn't think anything like this would happen. I know kids were picking on him and that was very tough. I just didn't know it would be to this length."
Friends say Liu was often picked on at school.
"Everybody just kept on picking on him, just telling him, like really mean names," said Gonzalez.
John Melgar used to run cross country with Liu and said other students would call him names and harass him.
Melgar said, "People took advantage of him … They'd always ask for things. They'd tell him like, 'Oh, can you carry this for me' and he'd just carry it because he's a really nice guy."
Adrian Agbuia told 10News his brother was in class with Liu last week when Liu had a breakdown.
"He just finally lost it," said Agbuia. "All the bullying finally got to him and he was just banging his head against the door in the classroom."
Nearly all called Liu the victim of bullying. It is also what drew dozens of strangers, who were emotional but never knew him.
"I told the person who I was with … that kid's going to jump," said Aaron Bianco. He was there driving near the bridge when he spotted the teen he says moments before was on the ledge crying.
Bianco described what happened next.
"The police officer I was with started first aid immediately," he said. "To be honest, it was obvious nothing was going to work."
He says he saw Liu's mother on the scene within seconds, alerted that Steven was at the bridge.
|10.30.13: N.Y. bus driver saves woman from jumping off bridge|
tbo.com, BUFFALO, N.Y. – A bus driver is being hailed as a hero for preventing a woman from jumping off a Buffalo highway overpass.
About 20 McKinley High School students had just stepped aboard Darnell Barton’s Metro bus Oct. 18 when he spotted a woman who had climbed over a guardrail and stood leaning over the afternoon traffic zipping along the Scajaquada Expressway below.
With cars and an occasional pedestrian continuing to pass by her, Barton wasn’t sure at first that the woman was in distress.
He stopped his bus, opened the door and asked if she needed help, at that moment conflicted between the rules of his job, which required him to call his dispatcher, and his training as a former volunteer firefighter and member of the Buffalo Special Police, which told him that if he made contact, he shouldn’t break it.
“It was an interesting situation, knowing what you know and knowing what you have to do,” he said by phone today. “Dispatch picked up. I remember giving my location and saying, ‘Send the authorities, this young lady needs help’ and then dashing the phone down.”
The bus video system captures Barton, 37, leaving the bus and the 20-something woman looking back at him. Her gaze then returns to the traffic below.
“That’s when I went and put my arms around her,” said Barton, a father of two. “I felt like if she looked down at that traffic one more time it might be it.”
With the woman in a bear hug, Barton asked if she wanted to come back over the rail. She hadn’t spoken up to that point but said yes.
The video shows Barton tenderly helping her climb back over the guardrail and sit down. Then he sits next to her on the concrete. He asked her name and other questions to distract her, he said, learning she was a student.
“Then she said, ‘You smell good,’” he said.
A corrections officer and a female driver who’d been behind the bus came to help, speaking to the woman until police and an ambulance arrived.
“While I was holding her, listening to their questions, I just prayed,” the bus driver said. “Whatever was on her mind, it had her. It really, really had her.”
When the ambulance drove away, Barton got back on his bus – and received a standing ovation from the high school students and other passengers who’d been watching through the windows. He finished his route, wrote up a report and went home.
“Being the humble individual that Darnell is, he didn’t write it in a way that was going to call attention to himself,” said C. Douglas Hartmayer, spokesman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. “It was: I did it, got back on my bus and continued. That speaks volumes about his demeanor and character.”
Barton wishes he could speak with the woman again to make sure she’s OK.
“Things like this put what’s important in perspective,” he said. “You hug your kids a little tighter, kiss your wife a little bit longer. You’re grateful.
“Things may not be perfect,” he said, “but as we say, they’re a little bit of all right.”
|08.30.13: why bridge jumper was taunted|
abcnews.com, By Jenette Restivo
When a 26-year-old woman stood at the edge of a Seattle bridge on Tuesday, contemplating the decision to end her life with a jump, she didn't do so in peace.
"Jump, bitch, jump!" is what she heard from the crowd of motorists at the scene. Other onlookers cursed the woman, who was distraught over a relationship. After all, she had delayed their daily commute.
"The officers that were first on the scene said there were cars that were stopping as they were going by on the freeway, and taunting her to jump," Sgt. L.J. Eddy of the Seattle Police Department Crisis Intervention Team said today on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. Eddy's team tried to stop the jumper, and ended up pulling her out of the water after she leaped from the bridge. (The woman is listed in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, with a spinal fracture and chest and abdominal injuries. She is expected to recover fully, according to Associated Press reports.)
Cruel, yes. Unusual? Experts say no.
• Losing Your Sense of Individuality
Such behavior occurs quite naturally to us in certain situations. Psychologists have a name for it: deindividuation.
Scott Plous, a professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, calls the mob reaction seen during the Seattle suicide attempt a classic case of deindividuation, or losing your sense of individuality. He says that being anonymous or being part of a large group will often lead to behavior that, under normal circumstances, is not socially acceptable.
Eddy concurs that this is not an unusual phenomenon.
"I have been out to incidents of jumpers on ledges in high-rises and things like that, and there is frequently someone in the crowd, I think because of that anonymity, who will yell to 'jump' or 'go ahead' or something like that," she said.
Large groups,explains Brad Bushman, a psychology professor at Iowa State University, not only dilute a sense of individuality, but also lessen accountability.
"In a large group, diffusion of responsibility occurs so the individual experiences less responsibility on their own," he said.
• Heightened Sensation
The other factor Bushman believes may have been responsible for the Seattle group's behavior is a heightened sense of arousal.
"Physiologically, the presence of other people, heat, any unpleasant event — i.e., the frustration of being delayed three hours during a rush-hour commute — can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior," said Bushman.
The problem with this heightened sensation, he says, is it reduces our cognitive capacities — our ability to think rationally.
Dr. Michael Vergare, psychology professor at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, says the group's aggression may have been brought on by plain old selfishness.
"These people were feeling anger; she was getting in their way, so they distanced themselves from her dilemma," said Vergare. He called it a classic case of taking care of our needs.
Vergare says such Lord of the Flies-type behavior is really a defense mechanism.
"There is a certain distancing and dehumanizing of certain situations so we can master them. If we ignore the humanity, we become less humane, less civil," he said. "We depersonalize — that's how we protect ourselves."
|Vista Bridge suicides, they install a barrier that is climbable.|
oregonlive.com, Vista Bridge suicides: Portland mayor, city commissioner
By David Stabler | on June 06, 2013, updated August 12, 2013
A 15-year-old Beaverton girl jumped to her death from Vista Bridge on Wednesday, the third suicide from the historic span this year. That equals the highest number of Vista Bridge suicides in any year in the past decade.
The 1926 bridge, which spans MAX tracks and busy Southwest Jefferson Street, has long been called "Suicide Bridge." The public nature and increasing numbers of suicides at the bridge have prompted Mayor Charlie Hales, city Commissioner Steve Novick and other city officials to explore the issue of erecting architecturally appropriate barriers to impede suicides.
Based on design discussions with the State Historic Preservation Office, which must approve any changes to the bridge because it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, barriers could cost $2.5 to $3 million, said David O'Longaigh, who manages bridges for Portland's Transportation Bureau.
Finding that amount won't be easy, given a $21.5 million shortfall in the city budget.
"The mayor would like to see some prevention methods taken," said Matthew Robinson, a policy assistant in Hales' office. "But it's an issue of finding the funding. We've explored several sources and continue to look."
This week, Hales put Novick in charge of the city's Transportation Bureau, which manages Vista Bridge.
"We should have barriers on Vista Bridge," Novick said. "Unfortunately, suicide, to a shocking extent, is a matter of convenience. Barriers would save lives."
Research on bridges in Seattle, Toronto and Washington, D.C., shows that barriers significantly lower the number of suicides.
But the Transportation Bureau already faces a backlog of maintenance for roads and other projects, Novick said.
"I totally agree we should have barriers on Vista Bridge," Novick said. "It's a critical need among a lot of other critical needs. I can't say right now when and how we're going to get the money."
Novick said he has talked to two other city commissioners who think putting barriers on Vista Bridge is "a high priority."
The trade-offs are not easy, he said.
Among several design possibilities, the State Historical Preservation Office liked a railing of vertical steel bars, 6 inches apart, rising 8 feet above the bridge's railing, O'Longaigh said. The current railing is in disrepair and would need to be rebuilt and reinforced to hold the steel railing, he said.
Glass panels, another option, would be difficult to keep clean and could become "a palette for vandalism," he said.
Federal funding could be available, but not for many years, he said. A three-year funding cycle ended last November, so the next cycle wouldn't begin until 2015. Actual money might not come through until 2018 or 2020, he said.
Bonnie and Kenneth Kahn, who work below the bridge, are pushing the city to install barriers. The Kahns are forming a nonprofit to raise awareness and money for barriers. Kenneth Kahn was glad to hear of the city's support.
"It means the city has the vision to tackle a taboo subject and come out on the side of caring," Kahn said. "This is an infrastructure problem as important as creating new bridges such as the Sellwood Bridge. But while we're building new structures, we still have to maintain and improve the precious structures that help define so much of what is Portland."
10.31.13, oregonlive.com, Vista Bridge would-be jumper continues long-playing negotiation with Portland police
By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh | The Oregonian, on October 30, 2013, updated October 31, 2013
Portland's Vista Bridge became the scene of long-playing negotiation Wednesday as police officers worked for hours to try to rescue a man who scaled the span's new suicide fence and threatened to jump.
Police rushed to the notorious bridge about 10 a.m. after receiving reports that the man had gotten around the protective barrier and was sitting on the railing. As of 8:30 p.m., the man was still there.
The fence had been erected in August after five people jumped to their death from the bridge this year. Since then, no people have plunged from the "Suicide Bridge." But at least one other man managed to get around the mesh barrier and threatened to take his life.
Crisis negotiators on Wednesday were soon on scene to try to lure the would-be jumper back to safety, but they encountered logistical challenges concerning the fence.
Police had to cut a hole the barrier to provide the man a way off the ledge, which he did not use. And the barrier separated police from the man, preventing any potential physical intervention to restrain him from jumping.
Officers on the scene said that physical restraint is not a preferred method of resolving such situations. But, at an officer'?s discretion, it is sometimes used as a last resort.
At least two police officers have grabbed would-be jumpers in the recent past.
In 2011, an officer grabbed a suicidal man by his belt and waist when the man tried to hurl himself from the Vista Bridge.
In July, another officer managed to snatch a man from the brink as he tried to jump from the Northeast Glisan Street overpass above I-205.
City Commissioner Steve Novick, who approved emergency funding for the suicide fences at Vista Bridge, insisted the barriers were working, citing the fact that officers had time to arrive on scene.
"Time is our friend in these situations," he said. "It allows people to think twice."
As temperatures dipped late Wednesday night, the man remained on the railing.
"His fate is up to him," said Lt. Mike Fort, who was on scene. "He knows the game at this point. He has to make his own decision."
|04.04.13: would safety fences prevent suicide attempts from maine’s bridges?|
bangordailynews.com, By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff,
VERONA ISLAND, Maine — A young man’s decision to jump off Penobscot Narrows Bridge on Monday raises questions about whether the state has a responsibility to prevent bridge suicides.
A 25-year-old Eddington man committed suicide by jumping off the bridge. According to local officials, his was the second suicide in the bridge’s seven-year history, after the Rev. Robert Carlson in 2011. No state office keeps a concise list of suicides by bridge jumping.
Whenever someone ends his or her life by jumping off a bridge, questions are raised about the feasibility and effectiveness of precautions, such as so-called “suicide prevention fences,” that could have interrupted the attempt.
A common argument against such preventive measures is that the suicidal person would simply turn to other means. But Greg Marley, senior manager of education support at the Maine Suicide Prevention Program, said that’s not necessarily the case.
“It’s very well-recognized that when someone is in a suicidal state of mind, they get a kind of tunnel vision, a black-and-white narrowing of choices,” he said. “It’s been shown that if you can interrupt that cycle by removing the lethal means, it buys some time. People tend to get fixated on a set of means. If you take away a gun, they don’t necessarily say, ‘Well, then I’ll go jump.’”
Marley said that some bridges are identified as “hot spots” for suicide attempts. In Maine, he said bridges of concern are the U.S. Route 1 bridge in Bath and the I-95 bridge to Portsmouth, N.H.
One structure no longer on the list is Memorial Bridge in Augusta, where after 14 suicides in 22 years, a safety fence was installed in 1983. The bridge’s proximity to Augusta Mental Health Institute was a concern for residents and the medical community, prompting construction of the 11-foot-tall safety fence.
Marley said the fence has been a complete success. Since it was erected, there have been no suicides on Memorial Bridge. (The fence was removed for approximately one year, during bridge maintenance in 2005. In 2006, the city of Augusta opted to restore the fence, at a cost of about $350,000.)
He cited a 2006 study called “Preventing Suicide By Jumping: The Effect of a Bridge Safety Fence,” which showed that in the 22 years before and after the fence was built, the number of suicides in Augusta by jumping from great heights other than Memorial Bridge stayed constant — nine in each 22-year period.
The study’s author, Andrew Pelletier, gathered data from multiple sources, including death certificates from the State Office of Vital Records, newspaper reports and State Medical Examiner records.
“The number of suicides related to jumping from other structures in Augusta remained unchanged after installation of the fence, suggesting that suicidal individuals did not seek alternative sites,” Pelletier wrote.
Patrick Paradis, a city councilor in Augusta, was a member of the Maine House of Representatives in the early ’80s, when he sponsored the bill to build a fence on Memorial Bridge.
“I wanted to send a message to those who suffer from mental illness that we care about them,” he recalled on Wednesday.
Paradis said the idea of putting safety fences on bridges with a history of suicide attempts just makes sense, especially considering the track record in Augusta. To him, it’s same as installing guardrails along the highway.
“Is it popular? No. These issues aren’t popular,” he said. “People ridicule these things and always find something to say, like that you could spend that money elsewhere. But it has saved many lives here in Augusta, and I think it was worth it.”
The Maine Department of Transportation makes safety considerations during the planning process for any new bridge construction or renovation, according to DOT spokesman Ted Talbot. After a bridge is built or repaired, towns can ask DOT to look into safety, much in the same way they would ask for a traffic study.
A crucial piece of that process, he said, is listening to public input from the communities near the bridge. If an issue is raised, be it about suicide or other safety concerns, he said the department considers its options.
“All you feel is empathy when something like this happens,” he said. “And all you can really do is pay attention to the public process and address concerns on an individual basis.”
Talbot said that barring specific concerns about suicide, DOT doesn’t generally consider fences for its bridges.
“What we try not to do, if there isn’t a particular concern, is to add additional cost to the structures, on behalf of all Maine taxpayers,” he said. “But we will always stand ready to address individual concerns.”
Talbot said that if municipalities observe a persistent danger at the bridges in their communities, they can call on DOT to look into the issue and offer possible solutions.
William Sneed, a selectman in Prospect, on the west side of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, said he would talk with the other selectmen about whether the town should engage DOT about suicide prevention at the bridge.
“If all it takes to get something started is for the respective towns to request something, we could certainly knock together a letter to DOT,” he said Thursday. “If it’s going to stop people from killing themselves on that particular bridge, why not? Sadly, I’m afraid, it’s not going to stop people from killing themselves altogether.”
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the Maine Statewide Crisis Hotline at 888-568-1112.
2006, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, preventing suicide by jumping: the effect of a bridge safety fence. an extensive study.
|03.21.13: Father, daughter presumed dead after bridge jump from the Bond Bridge.|
kansascity.com, A father and daughter are presumed dead after two people
jumped from the
Bond Bridge into the Missouri River while holding hands Thursday
Witnesses told police the pair got out of a truck about 11:35 a.m., climbed over the railing and flung themselves into the water about 120 feet below. The woman was holding something in a blanket that was initially reported to possibly be an infant. But police later said they didn’t think a baby was involved. They think she was holding the family’s Chihuahua.
If the victims are who police think they are, the father was in his 50s, and the woman was in her 30s. They lived in a mobile home south of Kansas City in a rural area, police said.
PPolice towed the truck abandoned on the bridge and got a search warrant Thursday night to look inside for evidence. Police recovered the father’s cellphone but not much else of evidentiary value. The truck was registered to the daughter.
Police closed northbound and southbound lanes of Interstates 35/29 at the Bond Bridge around noon while emergency workers searched the river by boats for more than an hour. The Kansas City Fire Department also put spotters on the Chouteau Bridge and Interstate 435 farther down the river. Fire Department’s rescue companies have timed the current and said it takes about 15 minutes for a body to float from the Bond Bridge to the Chouteau Bridge.
Fire officials said victims are more likely to survive a jump into cold water as opposed to warm water, so they put in a full rescue effort. But they didn’t find the victims alive or dead. The Missouri Highway Patrol estimated the water’s temperature was in the 40s.
Crews searched until about 1 p.m., when they pulled the boats out of the river. All northbound lanes reopened by 12:40 p.m., and the southbound lanes were cleared a few minutes later. (thanks Christopher O. on facebook.)
|08.19.12: 'Top Gun' director Tony Scott jumps to his death from Vincent Thomas Bridge.|
Scott, an avid mountain climber, graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. He directed television commercials before his debut film, "The Hunger" starring pop singer David Bowie, was released in 1983.
Scott broke into Hollywood royalty three years later when he directed Tom Cruise in "Top Gun," one of the highest-grossing films of 1986.
The pair worked together again four years later on the hit "Days of Thunder," which also featured Scott's third and current wife, actress Donna Scott. The couple have twin boys.
Known for his trademark red baseball cap, Scott also directed "Beverly Hills Cop II," starring Eddie Murphy, "Enemy of the State," starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, and "The Taking of Pelham 123," starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta.
Scott, a Beverly Hills resident, also directed "The Last Boy Scout," starring Bruce Willis, "Crimson Tide," starring Washington and Hackman, and "True Romance," written by Quentin Tarantino.
Scott and his older brother were co-producers on the CBS dramas "NUMB3RS" and "The Good Wife." The pair recently wrapped "Coma," a four-hour, two-night medical thriller starring Ellen Burstyn set for release next month on A&E.
Tony Scott was married to Gerry Scott from 1967 to 1974 and to Glynis Sanders 1986 to 1987 before he married his current wife in 1994.
Authorities did not release the contents of the suicide note, so it was unknown why Scott leapt to his death from the bridge where many others also have committed suicide. r>Erected in 1963, the 6,060-foot bridge links San Pedro with Terminal Island and rises 185 feet at its highest point above the Main Channel of Los Angeles Harbor.
Officers with port police, the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol joined city firefighters and the Coast Guard in searching the water for Scott's body after eyewitnesses saw him jump from the bridge.
Cargo vessels moved at slow speeds through the east side of the Main Channel during the search, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
"It's a dolorous task and we're working to treat the deceased with the utmost dignity and respect," Humphrey said during the investigation.
Authorities used sonar equipment to track Scott in the port's murky waters and his body was recovered by a dive team around 4:30 p.m., port police Sgt. Michael Alva said. His body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner.
One lane of the eastbound side of the bridge was closed to traffic during the investigation.
08.24.12, dailymail.co.uk, Tony Scott's suicide note to loved ones offers no clues as to why the filmmaker jumped to his death. (article includes a history and many images.)
|03.08.11: girlfriend committed suicide by jumping off the Tasman Bridge in Australia.|
|03.24.12, Kevin G., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, (My girlfriend, March 8 2011), I just heard your
radio documentary here in Australia. My g/f committed suicide by jumping off the
Tasman Bridge in Hobart last year. The bridge is the same height as the Skyway Bridge. I didn't think you could survive impact from that height. I was hoping she died instantly instead of hurting and drowning. I must admit crying while listening to your doco. But I think the media silence needs to stop. It is obviously not working. What better model can be set up I am not sure, but just pretending it doesn't happen has been a failure. I lost a beautiful girl and I don't want anyone else to go through the pain. Keep pushing changes.
(we are indeed sorry for your loss. it's been a battle since the beginning of this site. we want to display what jumping off the bridge does to those that do it and how it effects those that have it done to them. then there's the other side that wants everyone to STFU about it like it never happened and will never happen again if we continue to STFU about it forever more. we are sure that there have been some that have perused this site only because they were thinking about jumping off of the skyway, but have changed their mind once they read about the
physics of such a stunt. did it stop their suicidal thinking? maybe, maybe not. we would hope that you will heal from your horrible ordeal, but we are realists and know that will never happen. this will follow you to the grave. the hurt will diminish, but it will never go away. this is
a big part of why we do this. thank you for your story. we hope you cope.) kevin replies:
|suicide bridge reading|
writer who penned novel about depression jumps to his death.
12.20.13, spokesman.com, police training in crisis intervention paying off.
11.21.13, oxfordtimes.co.uk, woman dies after jumping off a bridge and struck by two vehicles.
11.11.13, nydailynews.com, nypd officers rescue suicidal man from verrazano-narrows bridge.
11.08.13, wsj.com, seoul korea ‘bridge of life’ attracts more suicide attempts.
11.02.13, fredericknewspost.com, local college student dies after jump from bridge.
11.01.13, utsandiego.com, teen dies after jump from chula vista bridge.
|and then there's this:|
|07.23.04, EDWARD C. H., MT. LAUREL, NJ., I JUMPED OFF THE DELAWARE MEMORIAL BRIDGE ABOUT 200 FEET AND LIVED THIS HAPPEND ON MY BIRTHDAY 1 6 65 I WAS BORN AGAIN. THE HOLY GHOST CAME TO ME THAT DAY. YOU MAY CALL THE COURIER POST NEWS PAPER IN CHERRY HILL NJ FOR THE ARTICLE. I AM THE MIRACLE MAN (you are something, that's for sure.)|
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