NJ Bridge's Redesign Has Led to Wave of Suicides

At least 82 attempts made since 2004
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2014 9:16 AM CDT
Updated Oct 5, 2014 7:00 PM CDT
NJ Bridge's Redesign Has Led to Wave of Suicides
New Jersey's Victory Bridge has seen a rash of suicide attempts.   (Wikimedia Commons)

A 2004 redesign of New Jersey's Victory Bridge created a 110-foot-high span that has since become a favored suicide destination. In the last decade, at least 82 people have attempted suicide by leaping off it, and 22 have died. The bridge, which connects Perth Amboy and Sayreville along Route 35, was the subject of a march held last weekend in which locals called for the erection of a barrier, reports My Central Jersey. The Sept. 28 event followed roughly a week after Giancarlos Taveras, 16, is believed to have jumped from the span; his body was found on rocks below. And in the days since the march, two more attempts have been made.

Around 8pm on Monday, a fisherman heard a splash, followed by cries for help. Some 40 minutes later, 19-year-old Daury Hernandez-Gomez was pulled from the water; NJ.com reports he had left his cellphone on the bridge above before jumping. He suffered a broken pelvis. On Wednesday, another teen who reportedly planned to end her life was saved by first responders, including an off-duty firefighter, who removed her from the bridge, reports NJ.com. Perth Amboy officials have long asked NJDOT to install a suicide barrier; though the bridge is state-owned, city officials are typically the first to respond, creating a financial burden. Officers claim that a number of factors—no barrier, parking adjacent to the bridge, light traffic, and a style of railing that functions as a sort of stepladder—contribute to the problem. (More New Jersey stories.)

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