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Egged on by Crowd, Woman Leaps From Bridge
August 29, 2001 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Egged on by Crowd, Woman Leaps From Bridge She survived and is in critical condition. There's also an astonishing photo of her fall from the bridge.
posted by msacheson (39 comments total)

 
That is really bad. I do not know if she would not have jumped if the "frustrated drivers stuck in the rush-hour traffic jam she created" had not yelled at her to jump. But the fact they did is bad, really bad.
posted by nonharmful at 11:56 AM on August 29, 2001


That was a really horrible thing for them to do. How can they disconnect so completely from reality that they think it's ok to tell someone to kill themselves? And do they feel any sense of responsibility right now?
posted by Hildago at 11:59 AM on August 29, 2001


Proof positive that Evel Knieval's retirement was a far greater loss to society than first thought.
posted by BentPenguin at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2001


Wow. I was thinking about moving to Seattle. I probably still will (somewhere down the line.) But wow.

Of course, it wouldn't have taken 3 hours to get to that point here in Detroit...
posted by wondergirl at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2001


All right everybody, resist the urge to indict the entire city of Seattle because of the behavior of a bunch of assholes who were late for their morning constitutional on the clock at the office. Nobody knows what was in the girls head, whether this started out as a cry for attention or whether she had every intention of leaping. The people yelling did not cause her to make the journey to the bridge, walk out to mid-span, and threaten for three hours to leap. Whatever combination of sad events that drove her to this point was completely unrelated to people exhibiting road rage in its most pathetic form.

Also, don't even pretend to think this behavior would not be repeated in other cities. Y'all aren't that naive.
posted by vito90 at 12:32 PM on August 29, 2001


wondergirl, remember when there was that incident on the bridge to belle isle a few years ago, when some people chased a woman off the bridge, and she died after being caught in the motor of a passing boat? i used to live in detroit (and do strangely miss it) and from what i remember the locals don't even need that much of a reason to chase people off a bridge.
posted by adampsyche at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2001


I heard this morning on the radio that the woman's condition was upgraded from critical to serious.

It was insensitive for onlookers to shout at her to jump, but it was also pretty insensitive of her to close down a major thoroughfare for three hours while she decided whether to jump or not. Yelling at her to go home would have been fair, I think.
posted by kindall at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2001


Has anyone here ever been in a crowd at a jumper situation like this? I have, in vegas, and after a few joke chants of "just jump already!" the crowd started a "jump, jump, jump" chant. It was pretty sickening, but that's what mobs do.
posted by mathowie at 1:10 PM on August 29, 2001


Before we go any further, I feel the need to state the following: Mental illness is a terrible burden. I know - I suffer from depression that results from an a chemical imbalance in my brain. I will probably be on maintenance medication for the rest of my life.

Having said that, I think the thing that bothers me most is that this "cry for attention" was done in such a colossal way. I've been in bad spots in my life, but my solution was call for professional help. It was NOT to shut down a major metro area's morning rush, ensuring my appearance on local and national television, as well as all over the web.

...

Sitting here trying to be eloquent about the "me-me-me" nature of our times, but I am stumped. The presumption of some people that their personal problems are important enough to completely disrupt (even temporarily) thousands of other lives just drives me mad.
posted by Irontom at 1:26 PM on August 29, 2001


mathowie and Irontom: good comments, both. We all should have sympathy (or empathy?) for someone in spot such as this, or even a less dramatic situation, such as the mild depression many (including me) take medication (Prozac, in my case) for.
posted by msacheson at 1:32 PM on August 29, 2001


Heard on the news last night here in Seattle that the motorists that urged her to jump (assuming of course they could be ID'd and apprehended) could be charged with something like "encouraging suicide" which apparently is a Class C felony.

Slim odds anyone will have the book thrown at them, but as my spouse noted, it is comforting to find out we have laws like that on the books (unless of course these laws are used in assisted suicide cases, but let's not go there.)

Also worth noting how incredibly restrained the news media has been--no graphic 11o'clock news video or pix in the paper. The Yahoo! pix is the only one I've seen.
posted by donovan at 2:08 PM on August 29, 2001


(unless of course these laws are used in assisted suicide cases, but let's not go there.)

let's go there. I'm not a rabid assisted suicide activist, or anything, but if Jack Kevorkian can be jailed for what he does, these people should be too.
posted by jpoulos at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2001


my solution was call for professional help. It was NOT to shut down a major metro area's morning rush...

I've said it before, but criticizing a depressed person for not thinking rationally is like calling a mute person rude for not saying thank you.
posted by jpoulos at 2:28 PM on August 29, 2001


Sigh. And MTV clearly state that you shouldn't try making tapes of yourself doing stupid crap just to get onto Jackass.
posted by wackybrit at 2:55 PM on August 29, 2001


hey look, i suffer from depression, and i used to have suicidal tendencies, but shit, if a group of complete strangers told me to jump, and i did, maybe i don't deserve this beautiful gift called 'life'.

sorry, no sympathy for the human version of a lemming.
posted by jcterminal at 2:57 PM on August 29, 2001


Could this be characterized as a form of Darwinism in action?
posted by gloege at 2:59 PM on August 29, 2001


She didn't jump because some jackasses told her to jump, although the wire story reads like that. The story is strictly correct when it says that she jumped "after" being urged to do so by onlookers -- in that they urged her to jump, and later she did -- but it is a mistake to make the causal link. She made her intent obvious at the beginning of the whole event; that's why the police were there.
posted by kindall at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2001


wow. i saw that bridge when i was there and i can't believe someone survived a jump off of that!
posted by centrs at 3:10 PM on August 29, 2001


It should be noted that police had stopped traffic in both directions, so for the last hour she was on the bridge, no one was around her yelling at her to jump, just the 3 police-negotiators talking to her.

Local media reports her as being distraut over a romantic breakup with her boyfriend, who of course asked that his name not be placed in the papers for his own protection.

And jcterminal, lemmings do not commit suicide...I even have a copy of the infamous White Wilderness video, and can assure you that the lemming footage is so obviously faked, it makes me cringe...
posted by nomisxid at 3:11 PM on August 29, 2001


nomisxid: i know, i was exagerrating for the sake of illiteration... or something.

god, i can't spell for puew today.
posted by jcterminal at 3:19 PM on August 29, 2001


dude. totally. late for work man. dude. gotta get to starbucks. totally brah. jump man jump.
posted by Satapher at 3:26 PM on August 29, 2001


you know, after sitting 3 hours in a traffic jam, those people shouting "jump!" could probably claim insanity...
posted by wondergirl at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2001


Lemmings and suicide, always the same urban legend.
posted by nonharmful at 3:50 PM on August 29, 2001


The most effect comment I've read about this incident is from Hellboy. After all, we are talking about people willing someone they don't know to kill themselves...
posted by feelinglistless at 4:43 PM on August 29, 2001


Wow, stayed a few blocks from that bridge all last week [Freemont]. That had to be close to 200 feet high.

Hopefully she gets some help.

Maybe the Monorail into the Freemont/UW area proposal will pass and ease up the congestion a little bit. I was told traffic there is worse than the Bay Area, after staying there awhile I believe it.
posted by swenson at 8:49 PM on August 29, 2001


swenson, if you stayed in Fremont, then you may be referring to the Aurora Bridge and not the I-5 bridge. The Aurora bridge is 175 feet above the water whereas the I-5 bridge is just 160 feet above water.

Last year The Stranger did a piece on jumping in Seattle. Worth a read.
posted by gluechunk at 9:34 PM on August 29, 2001


Yeah. Seattle. Sure it would happen in any other major city. BUT IT DIDN'T. It happened in SEATTLE. I would charge the ones who were yelling with attempted murder. Standing there yelling..... what fucks people can be. The day that I can't put my own personal agenda on hold and look at the fact that this person was obviously in the midst of severe emotional pain, is the day I check out as well.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:27 PM on August 29, 2001


The day that I can't put my own personal agenda on hold and look at the fact that this person was obviously in the midst of severe emotional pain, is the day I check out as well.

Not to nitpick, but that seems like the time you would be least likely to do yourself in.
posted by thirteen at 10:58 PM on August 29, 2001


You would charge the ones who were yelling with attempted murder?

Really?

?

!
posted by vito90 at 6:17 AM on August 30, 2001


God... here in Philly, they'd probably push you after an hour of shutting down the 95.
posted by ph00dz at 6:41 AM on August 30, 2001


Heh - here is a picture of the misdeed.
posted by gloege at 7:44 AM on August 30, 2001


God... here in Philly, they'd probably push you after an hour of shutting down the 95.

you got that right. 95 in philly makes me want to pull people from their cars and throw them out myself. hell, broad street makes me want to do that.

(back to anger management class...)
posted by adampsyche at 8:14 AM on August 30, 2001


Gosh, it is oh so "insensitive" that folks with mental illness would dare inconvenience us all like that.

I mean really. Have you ever been stuck behind somebody in a wheelchair at the mall and had to actually walk slowly? Makes many of us want to jam a gumball machine in his spokes. What if we couldn't get to Abercrombie and F. before it closed?

And may god damn all accident victims to hell. Do you know sometimes they will shut down a freeway to actually take the time to extricate victims and try to stop their bleeding? Can't they just load the wreck onto a flatbed, throw in some rolls of gauze through the windshield, and take the whole mess to the hospital? Five minutes, tops. We're busy people here...

Some of us get a little upset when our SUVs idle waiting behind some bozo's accident. Runs up our gasoline bills even higher.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:39 AM on August 30, 2001


I've often thought about those who die in horrendous rush hour car wrecks. It's so sad. Everything about your life has culminated into a nuisance for thousands or millions (Seattle's traffic became fucked citywide) and then that life just flickered out.
posted by crasspastor at 12:50 PM on August 30, 2001


Gosh, it is oh so "insensitive" that folks with mental illness would dare inconvenience us all like that.

It's a good thing that being mentally ill automatically exempts one from criticism, or people would probably be actually saying stuff like that. ;)
posted by kindall at 1:20 PM on August 30, 2001


Gosh, it is oh so "insensitive" that folks with mental illness
What do the quotes around insensitive mean?
posted by thirteen at 1:55 PM on August 30, 2001


f_and_m is quoting someone, in this case me. This is why quote marks are traditionally used.
posted by kindall at 2:22 PM on August 30, 2001


f_and_m is quoting someone, in this case me.
Ahh! I did not notice the first usage.
posted by thirteen at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2001


We're all so used to scare-quotes that when quotes are used correctly, we can't figure out what's really meant. That's actually pretty funny.
posted by kindall at 3:07 PM on August 30, 2001


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