2 drown after jumping off the same bridge near Mount Shasta a week apart


Two men in their 20s died a week apart after jumping from the same bridge near Mount Shasta and drowning, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office you say.

Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue told SFGATE the incidents were not investigated as suicide and that swimming in the lake below both saw the men “repeatedly jumping out of the bridge.”

The first incident occurred Aug. 20 at 7:01 p.m. when Aurdie Raheem Murphy, 21, of Teachy, North Carolina, jumped from the Wagon Creek Bridge at Lake Siskiyou below. It did not resurface, the sheriff’s office said.

The next day, Murphy’s body was recovered from the bottom of the lake “at about 43 feet of water,” the sheriff’s office said.


The second incident happened exactly a week later, on Friday, August 17, at 7:04 pm The head of the office said James David Vanaltena, 29, of Weed, California, jumped from the same bridge into the water below and failed to recover surface. . His body recovered in the morning under about 52 feet of water, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said that in both cases, people in the immediate area jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue Murphy and Vanaltena. First responders searched the waters across boats and land both Friday night, but found neither men immediately.

“These are two heartbreaking events that will impact the lives of many people. We send our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Murphy and Mr. Vanaltena,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that it is both “illegal and deadly jumping from, or riding on, the Wagon Creek Bridge.”

The department said the water is even further from the bridge than normal because of low water levels and that posted signs indicating restrictions.

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