Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 4:14 am | Fair 66º


San Luis Obispo Man Falls to His Death Off Cold Springs Bridge

Early Monday, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Cold Springs Arch Bridge on Highway 154 after receiving a call about a man sitting on the railing of the bridge.

The man fell to his death before deputies arrived.

The sheriff’s department’s search-and-rescue team made the recovery. The man has been identified as 39-year-old Matt Aydelott, a teacher at Cuesta College and resident of San Luis Obispo. The next of kin have been notified, and the cause of death has been determined to be a suicide.

Aydelott is the third person this year to jump from the bridge, and the 46th person since the bridge was built in 1963.

In May, CalTrans released its Draft Environmental Impact Report that proposes raising the existing barrier 6 feet. The current barrier is only 2 feet 7 inches in height. The proposed increase would help reduce or eliminate suicides from the bridge.

An additional benefit would be the decrease in danger to public safety personnel that must make the recovery in the rough terrain below, and to law enforcement personnel responding to calls for service on the bridge. Sheriff Bill Brown, the Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Association have all publicly supported the CalTrans proposal.

Sgt. Alex Tipolt is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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