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Placerville man jumps to his death from Foresthill Bridge

Fatal plunge is 76th from fourth-highest bridge in the United States
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
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A Placerville man parked his truck, texted co-workers in Colfax that they would find it at the Foresthill Bridge and then jumped to his death today from the 730-foot-high span near Auburn.

Allan Anderson, and another co-worker, drove to the bridge shortly after 2 p.m. with a sense of dread.

Emergency vehicles parked on the east side were a signal that they had arrived too late to possibly talk the man away from the railing, Anderson said.

The man who jumped from the north side of the state’s highest bridge was in his early 40s and a Placerville resident. Anderson said he had been working two days a week in Colfax on a construction job.

But he appeared out of sorts in the morning when they met at an Auburn coffee shop before driving up to Colfax, Anderson said.

At noon, the man left for lunch but never returned to the construction job. A driver on the bridge saw him jump over the railing at about 2 p.m. and called 911.

“He was loved by a lot of people,” Anderson said. “A thousand people would have come to his aid if they had known. But he said nothing. When I offered, he wouldn’t take.”

Anderson said he was trying to connect the intelligent, thoughtful man he knew with the one that jumped.

“It’s so far out of character for him, I can’t believe it,” Anderson said.

Lt. Troy Minton-Sander of the Sheriff’s Office said that the man was seen climbing on the railing and jumping off the bridge by a witness who was driving on the bridge.

The man, whose identity is being withheld by the Placer County Coroner’s Office until notification of next of kin, is the second person in a week to make the fatal plunge from the bridge.

The two deaths – the other took place Tuesday – brings to 76 the grim death toll since the bridge’s opening in September 1973. On Tuesday, a Rocklin man climbed a collapsible ladder he had brought with him to go over the six-foot-, six-inch railing.

Anyone with suicidal thoughts can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline service, 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-273-8255.