Suicide jump off Foresthill Bridge near Auburn

Unidentified man leaps 700 feet to his death
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A man was killed in an apparent suicide jump Wednesday off the Foresthill Bridge, near Auburn.


The man parked his car near the bridge, walked out near the middle of the span and - reportedly observed by a passing motorist - jumped off the 730-foot-high bridge.


A Cal Fire crew recovered the body from the steep east bank of the North Fork of the American River, about 20 feet from the shoreline.
The man's leap took place from the north-eastern railing at about 3:45 p.m. as work took place on the other side of the bridge. The man climbed a section of chain-link fencing that had been added on top of the bridge's 4-foot-high railing.


Supervising Ranger Scott Liske of the Auburn State Recreation Area said that the Placer County Sheriff's Office was attempting to determine the man's identity and contact next of kin.


The body came to rest about 175 yards downstream from the popular Clark's Hole swimming spot along the Clementine Trail, directly below the bridge. No one at the swimming hole or anyone hiking along the trail said they had observed the man's fall.


Based on Journal and law enforcement counts, the man was the 63rd person to have died in a jump from the bridge since it was opened to traffic in mid-1973. An Oregon man in January was the last person to jump to his death from the bridge.
The bridge is the highest in California and fourth highest in the United States.
It is currently undergoing a $74.4 million seismic retrofit and repainting project. The public is allowed access to the north-eastern end, while construction takes place on the other side.


The railing has been raised with the additional fencing to 6 feet and work is soon to start on a project to install permanent railing at the higher height in an attempt to prevent people jumping and throwing objects off the span.