Police: Woman jumps from Hoover Dam bypass bridge

A woman fell to her death Monday from the Hoover Dam bypass bridge, marking what could be the second suicide in less than two weeks at the structure.

Colleen Dwyer, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation, said that about noon several witnesses saw the woman jump to her death from the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge into the Colorado River.

Las Vegas police spokesman Marcus Martin said the woman’s body was recovered at 12:38 p.m. The Clark County coroner’s office will determine the woman’s cause and manner of death and identify her.

On July 12, Jacob Gerard Foreman, 39, fell from the bypass bridge after he walked onto the bridge’s walkway, climbed over the rail and hung from it. The Clark County coroner’s office ruled his death a suicide.

Police were unable to persuade Foreman to leave the railing. He fell about two hours after the incident began at 10:30 a.m.

Dwyer said Monday’s incident was different from Foreman’s death.

“It was certainly not like the other one,” Dwyer said. “This was just a person who kind of came out and immediately took this action.”

Dwyer said specific details about where and how the woman plunged to her death were unavailable.

Depending on the coroner’s ruling, the woman’s death could mark the fourth suicide at the bridge since it opened in October 2010.

Dwyer said officials with the Nevada Department of Transportation manage the bridge, so she could not answer any specific questions pertaining to the bridge’s safety.

Officials with NDOT could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

“We certainly hope to work closely with NDOT to see what they have in the plans to address these incidents,” Dwyer said.

Las Vegas police are handling the investigation into the woman’s death, Dwyer said.

North Las Vegas police are investigating whether the death of Foreman’s 40-year-old wife, Leah, who was found at the couple’s home on the night of July 13, was connected to his suicide.

Police found her at 10 p.m. that night while conducting a welfare check. No obvious signs of foul play were evident.

Police spokeswoman Chrissie Coon said Monday the investigation into Leah Foreman’s death is continuing. Investigators are waiting on the coroner to determine how she died, Coon said.

Also Monday, the Clark County coroner released the name of a man found dead on July 12 on the side of U.S. Highway 93 near the bypass bridge.

The man was identified as 71-year-old Frederic Samson Smith Jr. The cause and manner of his death are pending. He has no known city of residence.

Las Vegas police don’t think his death was linked to Jacob Foreman’s suicide. Smith might have been homeless, police said. Police were alerted to the body after a motorist stopped on the highway and saw Smith in a ravine.

Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Ben Frederickson contributed to this report.

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