Suicidal man is talked down from Bay Bridge

Submitted photo/MDTA Police
Members of the MDTA Police Crisis Team spoke to this man suffering a severe mental health crisis, for nearly 20 hours on the Bay Bridge before he agreed to see a doctor on Friday evening. MDTA Police were the lead agency with support from the FBI. See page 3 for an article and more photos of the incident.

STEVENSVILLE — A man was talked out of attempting suicide on Friday, after spending nearly a full day on the outer rails and cables of the Lane Memorial Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay.

Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions, as lanes were closed to allow rescue workers to speak to the man. Some motorists reported that traffic was snarled throughout Kent Island, while others said they required several additional hours to reach their destinations.
Traffic at the site is particularly heavy on Fridays during the summer, as vacationers head to the beaches.

The bridge has been the site of numerous suicides. Increased incidents of mental stress and depression have been reported during the pandemic and its resulting shutdowns of some businesses, loss of jobs and social contact.
State Senator Steve Hershey (R-36) posted on Friday, “I received notification at 6:01 p.m., that the individual is safely down and in custody and care of EMS professionals. It was a remarkable last few hours as a bucket truck was maneuvered into position to speak with the individual face to face. Because of the location of the individual, meaningful conversation had been extremely difficult prior to that action. Very grateful for the Maryland State Police, MDTA and the members of the crisis intervention team for their heroic and compassionate efforts to save this man’s life and to now get him the help and care he needs.”

“Love one another,” Alayne Kirkman posted. “Been praying for this guy all day! Shout out to all responders commuters and angels.”
Help is available for those suffering from suicidal urges. Call 1-800-273-8255 for immediate help.