Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fatal Attraction

Golden Gate Bridge officials have completed the first phase of a two-part feasibility study on erecting a suicide barrier — either by adding to or replacing the current railing or adding a horizontal net. "One thing we learned is that there is a workable solution," said Mary Currie, a spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge. A plan may be ready for public input by as early as this fall, she added.

Ken Holmes, who has been medical examiner since 1998, joined the office in the 1970s. Conducting autopsies of bridge jumpers, he handled bodies so devastated that they were unrecognizable.

The fall from the bridge lasts four seconds and is comparable to a jump off a 25-story building, researchers say. At impact, the body is traveling 75 mph. Ribs and vertebrae shatter, puncturing lungs and other organs.

The study was hailed Monday by one 26-year-old San Franciscan who years ago survived a Golden Gate suicide jump.

Kevin Hines recalls leaping from the span as an emotionally distraught college freshman. His first thought after going into a frantic free-fall: "What did I just do? I don't want to die."

Hines landed feet first and recovered from severe internal injuries. He says increased publicity about the high frequency of such suicides as well as the sheer violence of the impact might have dissuaded him from taking his fateful plunge.

1 comment:

pkh said...

Suicide is an impetuous act – or the act of an ill person lacking the capacity to make a sane decision. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Limiting access to the means of death has proven to dramatically reduce suicides.
98% of those stopped never attempt suicide again.

The rails at the Golden Gate Bridge are simply too low and access is too great. The rails of the bridge need to be raised.

Four people try to die there every week and one succeeds.

The true victims are the loved ones left behind many of which carry terrible emotional scars the rest of their lives...

San Franciscans and the people of the Bay Area can no longer hide their collective heads in the sand - we are now well aware of the horror taking place and as such have a moral obligation to do something to end the deaths at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Please help raise the rails - and end the tragic deaths