Lanes reopen on state Route 78 after police freeway closure

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – A suicidal man on a freeway bridge near Cal State San Marcos Friday forced a three-hour closure of the regional route through the morning commute.

The man climbed over a railing on the Nordahl Road overpass on state Route 78 shortly before 6:30 a.m., positioning himself over the eastbound lanes on a thin ledge, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Two California Highway Patrol officers went to the bridge, contacted the man and began a dialogue, trying to placate him and persuade him to get down from his dangerous perch, CHP public-affairs Officer Mark Latulippe said.

Other CHP units, meanwhile, closed the eastbound lanes of the freeway, and sheriff’s deputies shut down a stretch of Nordahl Road and sent for crisis negotiators.

After talking with the personnel for about three hours, the man climbed back over the railing and was detained without further incident. He was taken to Palomar Medical Center for an evaluation, Latulippe said.

Authorities did not say whether they had taken the suicidal person into custody.