YET another life has been lost at the Van Stadens “bridge of death” in Port Elizabeth after a 60-year-old woman leapt to her death at the weekend.
Police did not, however, identify the woman on request from her family.
This is the 82nd victim since the bridge’s opening in November 1971.
Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Marianette Olivier said passersby had spotted the woman on the bridge on Saturday morning preparing to jump.
A motorist on the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay immediately phoned the emergency services.
Police were too late to avert the tragedy.
They arrived just after 10am, shortly after the woman jumped to her death.
Her body was recovered by a team in a police helicopter.
The road was closed off for much of the morning and the traffic redirected while police were busy at the scene.
Olivier said yesterday the family of the deceased woman – who were spotted at the scene – were distraught and did not want to talk to the media.
In January, two people died after jumping off the bridge – Christo Barnard, 33, of Cotswold, and Jeanine Engelbrecht, 51, of Uitenhage.
A negotiator saved another potential jumper’s life in July after he talked the man off the bridge.
Just 12 days after the bridge opened in 1971, the first person, reportedly a woman from Uitenhage, jumped to her death.
The Friends of Van Stadens Bridge Trust will meet with the South African National Roads Agency Limited later this month to discuss the possibility of erecting an anti-jump barrier, which will cost about R1-million.