....and falling.
December 5, 2011 7:31 PM   Subscribe

In June 2004, Paul Stephens pulled over to the shoulder on The George Bush Tollway/I-75 overpass in Dallas, TX while arguing with his girlfriend, Lorena Godoy Osorio. As the fight escalated Osorio got our of the car to flee and Stephens threw her off the overpass onto the Interstate. He then jumped to his own death, 85 feet below. Dallas indie rock band Sorta wrote and recorded a song about the incident, "85 Feet"

Sorta keyboardist Carter Albrecht met his own tragic end three years later. (Many attributed Albrecht's bizarre behavior that contributed to his death to the anti-smoking drug Chantix. His story has been discussed previously.
posted by holdkris99 (10 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Seeing puke & cry in that old post makes me sad.

posted by box at 8:10 PM on December 5, 2011 [7 favorites]

Good God. That previous post was one of mine, which had for some reason kept coming up in my memory today...
posted by Navelgazer at 8:39 PM on December 5, 2011

Whoa. It's a four-level stack with the main thoroughfare of the Bush Tpke on top (unusually). It also has extra-wide shoulders for future expansion, which is obviously what allowed this to take place in such a risky location to begin with.
Sorry, I need these visualizations. Maybe you don't.
posted by dhartung at 9:52 PM on December 5, 2011

Writing and recording a breezy little indie-pop number about a tragic murder-suicide just strikes me as kinda distasteful and lacking in respect to the bereaved friends and relatives of these two people. That's a little too much cool and ironic detachment for me, I guess.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:22 PM on December 5, 2011 [11 favorites]

Ah. Chantix. Cats are not nearly as absorbent as one might think Chantix.

posted by effugas at 12:00 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Dear Sir flapjax: you call "85 Feet" breezy and little? I was living in Dallas while all these sad events occurred and there was no "too coolness" or "ironic detachment" intended. Dallas, for all it's bigness, is really a small town. That song made me weep when I first heard it and still has the same effect on me to this day: it is a song about hidden pain and unintended consequences that can come with what's unspoken and not dealt with. Maybe context is everything.
posted by blessedlyndie at 1:15 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I guess it isn't that the song is "breezy" or "little" but, to me, pop music represents the distillation of complex issues into something pithy and easily understood. Life is suddenly verse-hook-refrain, nothing more, nothing less. To me, that diminishes this tragedy, which was necessarily more complex and awful.
posted by jph at 6:30 AM on December 6, 2011

That was a sad little song. I don't drive that part of the Dallas freeways very often when I'm up there (we generally only go that far north on the tollway) but I've seen enough of those tall overpasses that I had no trouble imagining it even without dhartung's visualization.

Recently the not-quite-complete spaghetti overpass near our house was closed because someone was out of the car on one of the pieces. Twitter didn't say "and the cops think they have a jumper" but that was the implication. I've been living here just longer than a year and that's the second time they've had a possible jumper on one of the strands of that spaghetti. I guess if you're minded to jump, sometimes it's easier to just drive up there and stop than to try to get on a bridge, and there's less chance of people keeping you from jumping.
posted by immlass at 7:08 AM on December 6, 2011

effugas, thanks for that context. Wow.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:33 AM on December 6, 2011

I miss Carter. He was my friend. This post reminded me to listen to his music again.

I was working quite near where this happened the day of, and though it wasn't close enough to witness it from my office, the overpass went right past the windows where I was sitting.

Right before 5 p.m. that Thursday, the entire area was soon surrounded by helicopters and the sound of sirens; word got around from people who'd left work early that something crazy was going on right up the road, keeping people from merging on 75 north and making their commutes to Frisco/McKinney/Allen/North Plano, where most of my coworkers lived. We were all scared and worried. Was someone threatening to jump? Had a horrific crash happened? When we heard it was a couple fighting and it looked like the guy had thrown his girlfriend off the overpass, everyone got really quiet. It wasn't exciting or scary anymore, it was just -- terribly sad and sickening.

What a fucked-up set of events this was - all of it - and revisiting the memory of that day and Carter's death (and funeral, and memorial) now is making me sick to my stomach.

Flapjax, some of the lyrics from the track "When You're Younger," from Carter's Jesus is Alive and Living in London solo album [link directly to media player], sums up my feelings about this:

When you’re younger, there is no never.
And no distinction, whatsoever
Of how it was and how it is,
And how much longer ‘til you’re part of the biz.

I’ve got music in my ears...

I promise you, you can change the world
And they’ll just change it back again.

I miss you, friend. You were like a less-cynical, younger, and more musical Norm McDonald who always left all my boxes of crackers and bags of chips open when you'd come over to watch TV with me and Dave at that shitty apartment I shared with Aaron at SMU. You never knew you were good-looking, and you always thought it was funny to take pix sitting next to me so you do your "praying mantis" pose.

"When you’re younger, you live forever." If only, my friend... my heart is breaking for what will never be; not for those two people on the bridge that day -- and not for you, either.

goddammit. Everybody take care of each other out there - I'm going for a walk. I've got some memories in my eye.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:52 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

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