Boy, 17, falls to his death while climbing LA bridge for social media stunt
A 17-year-old boy fell to his death at the weekend while climbing a road bridge in Los Angeles in an apparent social media stunt.
Police were sent to the 6th Street Viaduct around 2am on Saturday and found the teenager, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.
His identity has not yet been confirmed.
The boy slipped and fell “when climbing upon one of the arches, in order to post, apparently, a social media broadcast,” Police Chief Michel Moore said on Tuesday during a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission.
The bridge, which has thousands of LED lights and views of LA’s skyline, is the largest and most expensive ever built in the city, costing $588 million.
It was designed to become a city landmark when it opened last July, replacing an 84-year-old Art Deco structure. It runs 3,500 feet over the concrete-lined Los Angeles River and connects the city’s downtown area to the historic Eastside.
But police have been forced to close it several times after it quickly became a hotspot for street racing, graffiti and illegal takeovers that drew hundreds of spectators to watch drivers perform dangerous stunts.
Social media stunts have abounded as well. In one case, a man sat in a barber’s chair for a haircut in the middle of the lanes.
A man was also fatally shot on the bridge in January during unauthorised filming of a music video.
“Tragically we see that location, while it has spawned a great deal of pride in Los Angeles, it has also unfortunately served as a backdrop now for tragedies such as this,” Mr Moore told the Police Commission.
“Our added patrols will continue at that location, to counter such reckless actions.”