Suicide Prevention Fence Coming To George Washington Bridge Walkway

CBS2 NEW YORK  REPORTS

Photo: Anthony Quintano

In what amounts to a big step to save lives at the George Washington Bridge, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will install a temporary fence to stop people from jumping to their deaths.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday, the bicycle and pedestrian walkway on the south side of the iconic bridge has a breathtaking view – but also a dark side. It is a magnet for troubled people thinking of ending their lives.

At one point starting in late July, five people jumped to their deaths from the bridge in the span of as many weeks. Four of them were under the age of 30.

There have been 74 deaths since 2013, and hundreds of interventions where Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police stopped people from jumping.

Officer Juan Guzman talked about it in a recent public service campaign.

“I had a 19-year-old female on the other side of the railing when I got there. My only option was to cuff her. She was that determined,” he said in the PSA. “If it wasn’t because I cuffed her to the railing, I think I would have lost her.”

While the Port Authority plans for a permanent 11-foot-high anti-suicide fence, it has decided to install a temporary one.

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