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April 28, 2015

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Man jumps to his death off Hoover Dam bypass bridge


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is seen just south of the Hoover Dam and two water intakes on Aug. 19, 2010.

Updated Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 2:35 p.m.

Map of Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

Boulder City

A man jumped 900 feet to his death from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge on Thursday, after police tried for two hours to talk him down, officials said.

Hoover Dam Police and Metro Police were called to the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge about 10:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a man on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway threatening to jump. Negotiators from both departments tried to talk the man out of killing himself.

At 12:30 p.m., he jumped from the Nevada side of the bridge, hitting rocks before reaching the Colorado River, officials said.

The Bureau of Reclamation, with assistance from the National Park Service, recovered the man’s body from the water.

He is the third person to jump from the bridge, which opened in October 2010.

In April, Patricia Oakley, a 60-year-old resident of San Jose, Calif., was the first person to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge.

The following month, a young Arizona man jumped to his death, Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Rose Davis said.

The 1,900-foot-long bypass bridge is downstream of the Hoover Dam, where it spans Black Canyon. It is the country’s second-highest bridge.

Metal railing runs most of the length of the Hoover Dam side of the pedestrian walkway, which sits 900 feet above the Colorado River.

Authorities reopened the bridge, which had been closed as the man threatened to jump, at 12:45 p.m.

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  1. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  2. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  3. TeamSG1,

    I would suggest that the upcoming topic should really be why assisted suicide is illegal in almost every State. Taking one's own life is the ultimate liberty of a free person.

  4. I can only imagine the how cruel the comments posted must have been that have been removed. It seems there are people out there who really do take pleasure or some kind of smug satisfaction in the suffering of others.

    Mental illness is still surrounded by unneccessary stigma which only adds to the burden of those who are suffering. We need to start treating the mentally ill like we treat those who diagnoses are purely physical. Besides, mental illness being a disease of the brain technically is a physical condition.

    It is difficult to imagine the kind of hopelessness and despair a person has to be feeling when they are willing to do something so drastic. As other readers pointed out, it must be terrifying to even stand at the top of that bridge. So for them to be able to climb over and jump indicates someone whose mental anguish is unbearable. Not only do they need a psychiatric intervention, they need some basic human compassion, which is difficult to come by lately.

  5. boftx:

    Your comment is heartless. I, and maybe others, do not feel that taking one's own life is the ultimate liberty a person has. I always wondered how bad a state of mind a person has to be to take their own life. No hope, no faith. How sad. A person in this state needs HELP, not assistance in ending their life.

  6. Dam that confounded bridge.


  7. I agree with you "boftx"; to live or die is indeed the strongest expression of personal human choice, although suicide may not be the most desirable outcome of that choice, particularly for those left behind.

  8. The biggest reason that suicide is illegal is to release insurance companies from related payouts. Being a martyr however, is a big part of religious fundamentalism and is held in high regard by a very few who consider themselves very close to god. Suicide seems to frowned upon when it is not in the service of god or country.

  9. I feel bad for those involved in the case to have it turn out for the worse. I could'nt believe they put that walkway up there, that's just asking for trouble. The only way to curb the jumping off the bridge is to close it to pedestrians, thats not going to happen. If the media curbs the news about the suicides out there less people will get the idea in thier head, I'm sure someone wth suicidal thoughts has already heard about this .

  10. The bridge should be closed and secured like other bridges, from pedestrians. They can build a lookout next to it, with plexiglass front, end of problem.