The Oakland Bay Bridge glitters tranquilly above the water most nights, but on Feb. 9, it hosted a grim scene - a suicidal woman sat on the ledge, contemplating taking her own life.
Fortunately, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers J. Maya and D. Ribergaard responded to the scene, KTLA reported. The officers tried to talk to the unidentified woman, but she was hesitant to respond.
Officer Maya then took a strap from a tow truck on the bridge, tied himself to the railing and approached her, according to a Facebook post from CHP. Maya, who has crisis intervention training, was able to convince the woman to come back over the railing.
The woman was transported to St. Francis Hospital for a mental health evaluation. Although it’s unclear how many people have committed suicide on the Oakland Bay Bridge since it opened in 2013, the nearby Golden Gate Bridge has the dubious honor of being one of the most popular spots for suicide.
Although a suicide barrier has been erected along the Golden Gate Bridge, more than 1,600 people have taken their lives there since it opened in 1937, CNN reported.
It’s not uncommon for local police officers to intervene in order to save a suicidal person’s life on either of these bridges. Sergeant Kevin Briggs, a retired police officer who used to patrol the Golden Gate, believes he prevented the suicides of more than 200 people during his 23-year career.
"When someone goes over on the other side of that rail, it's like having a gun to their head, their finger on the trigger, and the hammer pulled back," Briggs said.
"They're ready to go. The pain is great -- they see no hope."