PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The latest in a series of suicides at the Colorado Street bridge in Pasadena has neighbors seeking answers — especially with several new families slated to move in nearby.
KCAL9’s Laurie Perez reported from the area where the subject of suicide has become very sensitive to the neighborhood.
It was sad deja vu at the Colorado Street bridge Saturday morning. Police again responded to a middle-age man’s suspected suicide.
It the man’s death is confirmed to be a suicide, it would be the 28th suicide here in the past decade .
The bridge is morbidly nicknamed “The Suicide Bridge.”
Officials say the suicides take away from what the bridge should be known for.
“We want it known for the history and beauty not for the fact that people have threatened to jump and have jumped off the bridge,” says Lisa Derderian, the Pasadena Fire Department’s public information officer.
Matthew McKim’s family is moving into one of the new houses — built by habitat for Humanity — in the area.
McKim has seen death before — as a Marine. But he says death is almost in his soon-to-be front yard and today’s suicide has touched him greatly.
“You know, he was a human being, and uh, seeing him like that was, it was sad,” said McKim.
There have been various efforts over the years to put netting under the bridge or barriers on the bridge but they reportedly stalled. The bridge has landmark status so any changes have to be approved.
To McKim, that’s reserving history over saving lives. He’s worried for people who might jump and those who might see them.
“I have two beautiful little girls, they’re 3, they’ll be playing there, people jumping from the bridge, them witnessing that, um is definitely a great concern to me,” McKim.
He joined a suicide prevention task force formed because of the unique situation with the bridge.
He is urging city leaders to consider security guards to patrol the area, discreet wiring — anything to discourage jumpers.
Derderian said there are several ideas on the table, along with more efforts to reach people even before they’re on the bridge.
“If we can get out there and start engaging in conversations often people threatening to jump they just want somebody to talk to,” she said.