Bear Mountain Bridge Suicide – On Friday, June 30th, 2023, a tragic incident unfolded on the Bear Mountain Bridge as an individual chose to end their life by jumping from the bridge. The heart-wrenching event occurred shortly before 11 a.m., leaving witnesses in shock and disbelief. The young person’s life came to a devastating end as they leaped into the depths of the Hudson River. Following the distressing incident, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Marine unit commenced a recovery operation and successfully retrieved the youth’s lifeless body from the river.
The identity of the deceased was not immediately released by the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office at the time of this report. This sorrowful event serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact mental health struggles can have on individuals and the importance of providing support and resources to those in need.
RELATED ARTICLE: Lawmakers Push for Legislation to Fence Hudson Valley Bridges to deter suicide
In 2021, state officials asked the New York State Bridge Authority to stop suicides by putting up fencing that makes it hard to climb. Sens. Pete Harckham and James Skoufis were joined by family members of victims as they asked the government to build fencing that will slow people down long enough for them to change their minds or for help to come. Based on news reports, Harckham said that six people have killed themselves on the Bear Mountain Bridge between 2020 and 2021.
This week, Harckham and Skoufis presented a bill in the state Senate that would force the Bridge Authority to put climbing-deterrent fencing on its five bridges: Bear Mountain, Rip Van Winkle, Mid-Hudson, Newburgh-Beacon, and Kingston-Rhinecliff. Aileen Gunther is sponsoring a bill in the Assembly that goes along with the Senate bill. The politicians say that state officials have said it could be expensive to put fences along the length of each bridge.
A spokesperson for the Bridge Authority, Chris Steber, said that they are thinking about putting up physical barriers on the bridge as part of their capital program. This would not need to be done through law. Harckham said that when the state built the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, it included fences and things that make it hard to climb. As a safety measure, nine-foot-tall glass walls were added to six views, which are also called belvederes. The cost went from $2.45 million to $64 million because of changes to the belvederes and a shared-use walk.
Erika Lang Pierce of Katonah was one of the people who met with lawmakers on Wednesday. Her uncle, who was 60 years old, jumped to his death from the Bear Mountain Bridge more than a month ago. Rocco Battista, whose 19-year-old son Danny died when he jumped from a cell tower near his Warwick home in April 2008, joined her. Battista said that some people are against protection barriers and fencing because they don’t want to lose their view of the Hudson River. Skoufis said that fences became more important when there was a pandemic that made it hard for people with mental health problems to get help.
News from SNCB13.com