Suicides and Attempts at New TZB Concern Local Officials

The opening of the new Tappan Zee bridge has come with a range of emotions…some are concerned about the potential for rising tolls, and almost everybody has an opinion about the bridge’s official name. Overlooked in all the discussion has been suicides and suicide attempts. All three area Hudson River crossings, including the George Washington and the Bear Mountain bridges, have been in the news this week with suicide and suicide attempts. State police stopped a man from jumping off the new Tappan Zee span earlier this week, and Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco noted it’s something law enforcement in the area is ready for at any given moment…

Audio clip: Lou Falco

Suicide hotline information is posted on each bridge, but unfortunately, safety precautions with the best of intentions don’t always work. The body of a Pennsylvania man who jumped from the George Washington Bridge was recovered in West New York Monday, and the body of a 22-year-old Rockland County woman, who jumped form the Bear Mountain bridge in April, was recovered Wednesday. The well-known ESPN broadcaster and former Westchester resident John Saunders, who died last year, detailed in an autobiography published just a few weeks ago, that he had driven out onto the Tappan Zee bridge in February 2012 and considered jumping from it when he was suffering from depression. Some have even dubbed the Tappan Zee bridge the Golden Gate of the East, referring to both bridges’ popularity with suicide attempts. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day…the number is 1-800-273-8255. Visit for more information.

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