Teenager Survives Jump Off Golden Gate Bridge

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BY JENNIFER MECKLES Anchor: Jennifer Meckles You're watching multisource US news analysis from Newsy E...
BY JENNIFER MECKLES Anchor: Jennifer Meckles You're watching multisource US news analysis from Newsy Everyone loves a good stunt --- as long as they KNOW it’s a stunt. But when a high school junior in San Francisco decided to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge just for kicks, nobody was laughing. KGO has the story: “A 17-year old student jumped as his friends and teachers looked on in horror. The young man climbed over the railing on the San Francisco side of the bridge and jumped a couple hundred feet to the water below. Somehow he survived.” The boy climbed over a 4 foot railing on the bridge and fell 220 feet into the water. He surfaced quickly and then swam to shore with the help of a few surfers, sustaining only minor injuries. He told his rescuers -- he did it for a dare. (KNTV) Those surfers became the primary witnesses in the story -- And they weren’t too amused by the boy’s antics: “As he paddled by I asked him what he was up to, and he said it was a stunt.” (KGO) “I looked at him, eye to eye -- not a bruise or anything. And he just said -- he jumped for fun!” (KTVU) “He could’ve killed someone! He landed about 20 feet away from a friend of mine, and my friend was pretty mad.” (KGO) Since the boy admitted to the stunt, and authorities later ruled out the idea of a suicide attempt. Either way -- CBS San Francisco explains -- this teenager was lucky. “We can tell you that prior to today there have already been seven jumpers so far this year. And not a single one of them survived.” That’s just for 2011. The New York Daily News reports: “More than 1,400 people have jumped off the bridge since it opened 1937 with only 2 % surviving the fall and of that small slice only 4% were able to walk again.” So he was lucky to survive -- but what next? HLN explains his possible fate: “A high school student who survived jumping off the Golden Gate bridge could face charges and jail time... The California Highway Patrol recommends he be charged with misdemeanor trespassing.” And a California Highway Patrol tells the San Jose Mercury News: “The charge... entails climbing any rail, cable, suspender rope, tower or superstructure not intended for public use... The offense is punishable by up to a year in county jail, a fine up to $10,000, or both.” The teenager’s classmates were understandably shaken by the event -- and the school is providing counsel. Transportation officials are currently planning a suicide barrier for the bridge. So what do you think -- death defying dare? Or a seriously stupid stunt? Follow Newsy_Videos on Twitter Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy Transcript by Newsy