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Henderson man jumps from dam bypass bridge

A man took his life by jumping off the Hoover Dam bypass bridge early Saturday , the fifth confirmed suicide from the bridge.

The Clark County coroner’s office identified the man Monday as Kaimin Kennteth Tsai, 44, of Henderson.

Cause of death was blunt force injuries from a fall, and police confirmed it a suicide.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Hoover Dam police were called to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday after reports came in of a possible suicide attempt.

Officers made contact with the man and attempted to coax him off the side of the bridge. According to Las Vegas police, who received reports of the incident about 5:20 a.m. Saturday, a Hoover Dam officer was within 15 feet of the man, attempting to create a dialogue.

But the man never responded to police and eventually jumped, falling 900 feet to his death, Las Vegas police said.

Witnesses said that the man stopped his motorcycle on the bridge, jumped the wall onto the walkway and then climbed over the walkway’s railing.

The 1,900-foot-long bridge, which opened in October 2010, crosses Black Canyon 900 feet above the Colorado River about a quarter of a mile downstream from Hoover Dam.

The rail on the pedestrian walkway is 4 feet, 6 inches high, a foot higher than the rail on the south side of the bridge, which doesn’t have pedestrian access. There is no fencing or safety netting.

During its first year, there were no reported suicides from the span. In 2012, four people climbed over the railing and jumped into the Colorado River, including a Boulder City resident in July.

Rudy Malfabon, deputy director of the Nevada Transportation Department, said in April 2012 that any safety changes made at the bridge would come from the Federal Highway Administration.

Engineers from Nevada, Arizona and the highway administration had discussed the potential for suicides during the design phase of the $240 million bridge but decided against any structures that could deter jumpers.

Security for the highway portion of the dam, which is U.S. Highway 93 connecting Nevada and Arizona, is handled by the Nevada and Arizona highway patrols. However, security for the walkway is handled by the Hoover Dam police.

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