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Group wants suicide barrier for Coronado Bridge

Posted: 12:17 PM, Jan 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-16 03:29:53Z

CORONADO, Calif. -- The Coronado Bridge ranks third in the U.S. for number of suicides, and a local woman wants to do what San Francisco is doing at the Golden Gate Bridge (which ranks first) to try to save lives.

A $76 million funding plan was approved in San Francisco to build a steel net to catch jumpers. Construction has not yet begun, but the hope is to have the net in place in the next three years.

A San Diego group, the Coronado Bridge Collaborative, is actively pursuing a feasibility study to see if it's possible to do the same thing for the Coronado Bridge.

"People are dying here," said Rhonda Haiston, with the Coronado Bridge Collaborative .

The two-mile link between San Diego and the island has the third-highest suicide rate in the U.S., with more than 360 people jumping to their death since it was built in 1969.

Haiston said, "We just lost another person two nights ago. We must do something and do it as soon as possible."

The group wants a barrier along the bridge that would prevent or catch those who try to jump -- similar to what San Francisco is going to build around the Golden Gate Bridge.

The proposed steel net would hang 20 feet below the pedestrian deck, with the idea that if someone does jump, they would be too injured to try again. A rescue service would quickly scoop them up.

In Coronado, Hairston said, "In the last four years, the bridge numbers have increased 50 percent. That's a public health problem, in my eyes."

The Coronado Bridge Collaborative isn't waiting for city leaders to take the lead. They're raising the $25,000 for two feasibility studies with a GoFundMe page .

Haiston has felt the blow of suicide twice, losing two uncles.

"You are affected. Even though it's not happening to you directly it's happening to you and your family," said Hairston.

Haiston wants to get the word out, so she and a friend put up flyers for the GoFundMe page around Coronado's Tidelands Park.

She said, "Something needs to be done."

Haiston told 10News studies show that 90 percent of those who survive a suicide attempt do not try again.

If you would like to donate to the fund, visit https://www.gofundme.com/notonemorelife .

In the meantime, we'd like to know what you think about the idea. Take our online poll:

 

 

SUICIDE PREVENTION (24-HOUR HOTLINES)
San Diego County Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255