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Second suicide jumper leaps to death Wednesday from Foresthill Bridge

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A second person made a fatal jump late Wednesday off the Foresthill Bridge, near Auburn, authorities said Thursday.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office released the names of both fatalities after contacting family members.

The initial jumper was identified as Jacob Charles Fetsch, 26, of Dobbins. He had parked his car and was seen jumping off the northeast railing of the span at about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.

The second death took place at 5:50 p.m. A woman, identified as Valerie Gail Garcia, 35, of Auburn, was spotted jumping off the bridge, just as emergency personnel who had taken out the Fetsch body, were leaving the canyon.

According to an unofficial count culled from Journal and sheriff’s records, the deaths were the 63rd and 64th off the bridge in its 39-year history. It’s the highest span in California and fourth highest in the United States. The last suicide from the bridge was an Oregon man Jan. 31.

The two deaths Wednesday are apparently unrelated, sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said.

Supervising Ranger Scott Liske of the Auburn State Recreation Area said some units had left and his was the last vehicle in line moving away from the access road to the Clementine Trail, where the first body was transported from.

“It was very much a shock,” Liske said. “Before we even left the scene we received the call from the sheriff’s office about a second jumper.”

The woman’s body was discovered on the Auburn side of the river, on the ground and adjacent to the bridge’s west pillar.