Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2014

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Suicide by landmark: Hoover Dam Bypass vs. Golden Gate Bridge

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Comparing the two landmarks, the situation at Hoover Dam could be worse.

Sad news coming out of Hoover Dam this week: 60-year-old Patricia Oakley of San Jose, California, jumped off the bypass bridge. The police tried to talk her down, but to no avail. Oakley’s death is tragic, but it’s also a reminder that the situation could be worse. A quick comparison to the Golden Gate Bridge reveals this much.

Hoover Dam Bypass

Opened: 2010

Height: 900 feet

Average Suicides Per Year: .67

Fatality Risk of Jumping: 100%

Preventative Measures Taken: Measures to come, presumably.

Golden Gate Bridge

Opened: 1937

Height: 245 feet (deck level)

Average Suicides Per Year: 17.6 (This is the recorded figure, though the actual number is almost certainly higher, as many jumps go unnoticed and/or unreported.)

Fatality Risk of Jumping: 98% (to date)

Preventative Measures Taken: Suicide hotline telephones, volunteer ironworkers wrestling down would-be jumpers, sidewalks closed at night.

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