Freeways finally clear after suicidal woman is ‘talked down’
A suicidal woman perched on the edge of an overpass in Golden Hill for more than eight hours today, forced a full freeway closure that created “horrendous” congestion for miles, until she was finally taken into custody by police.
The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was first spotted sitting on the side of the pedestrian bridge over northbound Interstate 5 at Pershing Drive about 1:40 a.m., San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.
As patrol personnel and crisis negotiators tried to talk the woman into getting off the ledge, the California Highway Patrol began diverting traffic away from the scene. Eventually, the state agency completely shut down the freeway.
As the morning commute got under way, congestion turned into gridlock that stretched beyond Sea World to the north and well into the South Bay, CHP public affairs Officer Jesse Udovich said.
Eventually, westbound State Route 94 was stop-and-go from Lemon Grove to downtown San Diego, Interstate 805 was a mess as far away as Otay Mesa and I- 8 was heavily backed up through Mission Valley.
“It was horrendous,” Udovich said.
Police were finally able to take the woman into custody shortly before 10 a.m., the officer said. She was then transported to a psychiatric hospital for an evaluation.
Traffic began flowing freely again on all affected roadways a short time later, according to Udovich.