News

Man jumps from bridge

An 79-year-old Edmonds man jumped to his death off Deception Pass bridge Wednesday.

Island County Coroner Robert Bishop said six witnesses saw the man, Arvell Casper, go over the bridge rail at about 10:45 a.m., but nobody was close enough to intervene. He likely died on impact with the water, Bishop said.

A Washington State Parks boat happened to be nearby and recovered the man’s body immediately. He was pronounced dead by an ambulance crew at Cornet Bay about 15 minutes later.

Bishop said Casper left a suicide note at his home in Edmonds. Bishop said he believes the man decided to end his life because of health-related issues.

Using a key from the man’s pocket, detectives were able to identify his car parked at Pass Lake.

According to Island County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Wallace, the man didn’t have any connections to Whidbey Island. Investigators don’t know why he drove all the way to the Deception Pass bridge to commit suicide.

“The bridge is a magnet for this,” Wallace said, referring to the prevalence of suicides at the pass.

Bishop said this may have been the first suicide from the bridge this year.

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