Grandson of SF Suicide Net Advocate Jumps to Death

'It's not the bridge's fault,' says former transit director

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 11, 2014 2:38 AM CDT | Updated Jun 11, 2014 4:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – Heartbreak for the transit official who spearheaded efforts to install a suicide barrier at the Golden Gate Bridge: His own grandson has become the latest person to leap to his death from the bridge. John Moylan, 86, was the director of the Golden Gate Bridge Transit District when the prevention plan was approved in 2008, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Suicides at the bridge hit a record high last year, but funding problems have stalled the installation of a suicide net. Moylan, who previously lost a grandnephew to suicide, told a board meeting last fall that "my family has been touched by it, and I'll tell you what, it tears a family apart." The body of his 27-year-old grandson, Sean, was recovered from the water after he jumped last Thursday.

Moylan tells the Marin Independent Journal that his grandson's death is "heartbreaking," but he doesn't blame it on the bridge or the lack of a barrier. "The poor kid was a very troubled young man," he says. "He was generous and good natured, but he just had that demon in there. There is no blame in this at all. It's not the bridge's fault, it's not anybody's fault." The bridge board meets later this month to discuss funding for the $68 million suicide-prevention project, and while "Sean will be thought about at the next board meeting ... we can't lay it on the bridge," Moylan adds. "It's just that the bridge seems to get more publicity."

A sign is posted above a crisis counseling call box on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
More than 1,600 people have jumped to their deaths from the bridge since it opened in 1937.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
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