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UPDATE: Man apparently commits suicide on Newhall Pass bridge

Gun found below interchange

Posted: August 23, 2012 3:07 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:50 p.m.

California Highway Patrol officers and Sheriff's deputies investigate an apparent suicide on the transition road from southbound Interstate 5 to northbound Highway 14 in the Newhall Pass on Thursday.

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A man apparently committed suicide Thursday by shooting himself in the head on the tallest bridge of the Interstate 5-Highway 14 interchange in Newhall Pass.

Shortly before 2:50 p.m. Thursday, the man drove a white sedan onto the transition road from the southbound I-5 to northbound Highway 14, pulled to the side of the bridge and shot himself in the head, a California Highway Patrol spokeswoman said.

The man was in full view of motorists southbound on the interstate approaching the Highway 14 off-ramp.
An investigation into the death was being conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division, CHP Officer Diana Johnson said.

“It’s a sensitive investigation,” Johnson added.

Highway patrol officers who responded to the scene closed down the transition road while sheriff’s deputies searched on and around Sierra Highway below the bridge for the gun, which the man apparently dropped over the side of the bridge.

Half a dozen black-and-white law enforcement vehicles remained parked around the suspect’s white car, its trunk open.

The body of a white man, apparently shirtless and clad in dark-colored shorts, lay on the pavement of the transition bridge at the nose of the white car.

A cluster of sheriff’s deputies gathered near the dead man.

Sheriff’s deputies scoured a taped-off section below the freeway and found a weapon they believe was the one used in the suicide, officials reported.

The bridge was the same one from which a man committed suicide in June 2007 by jumping 200 feet to his death.

In that incident, the man jumped after standing on the bridge for three hours, prompting law enforcement officers to shut down traffic and try to coax him down while fire officials set up huge inflatable air bags to try to block his fall.

In Thursday’s incident, paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were dispatched to the bridge scene at 2:49 p.m.

“We had a report of a gunshot wound,” said Fire Department Inspector Tony Imbrenda. “When we got there we were canceled.”

Paramedics were turned away from the scene at 3:01 p.m., he said.

“We transported no one to the hospital,” he said.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., representatives of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner responded to the bridge, said Lt. Fred Corral.

While the coroner was en route, homicide detectives remained on the closed freeway transition road.





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