Woman survives mother's Coronado Bridge suicide as child, meets witness

Posted at 7:19 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 22:38:39-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)The woman who survived her mother jumping from the Coronado Bridge while holding her got to meet someone who was there that day.

Bertha Loaiza was just 3-years-old when her mother leapt from the 246-tall bridge on August 5, 1985.

Her mother never came to after hitting the water.

“It was the first body I ever saw,” said Fred Maupin who was on his parents’ sailboat near the bridge that day, “at 10-years-old, that sticks with you.”

Maupin remembers watching responders pull two bodies out of the water and tried to put the memory in the back of his mind, but says it grew with time.

“That’s how it become more tragic and scarring,” said Maupin, “remembering that someone could do that with her baby.”

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Maupin saw a story about Loaiza on Facebook a few weeks ago and knew he had to meet her in person.

Fred hit the road early from Arizona on Friday and the two met for the first time at Gloriettta Bay Park 

“I feel like I have to apologize,” said Loaiza, “cause he’s gone through it in a different way than I have.”

The two hugged then talked for more than an hour — Bertha even got him a gift.

“I feel better that he can see that I’m okay,” said Loaiza, “he can remember that instead of the bad stuff.”

“Taking a memory that was so haunting and turning the page,” said Maupin, “it’s a better ending to the story than I had in my mind.”