Tuesday Mar 23 2010
Body found below Foresthill Bridge ID'd as El Dorado Hills man, probable suicide
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Emergency personnel recovered an apparent suicide victim Tuesday from below the Foresthill Bridge. Placer County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team members and sheriff's deputies located the body and it was taken out by helicopter from the American River canyon below the Foresthill Bridge at about 11:30 a.m. The Placer County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Marvin Dee Sholberg, 63, of El Dorado Hills. Sholberg’s death is being treated as an apparent suicide but remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, spokeswoman Dena Erwin said Tuesday. The North Fork American River canyon below the 730-foot-high bridge has been the scene of 57 fatal plunges since it was constructed 36 years ago. Until Tuesday’s suicide, the most recent death occurred Jan. 21, when 18-year-old Forest Benjamin Wax was seen by witnesses jumping from the span. His body was recovered earlier this month about four miles downstream. Over the past several years, suicide prevention phones have been installed on both ends of the Foresthill Bridge and railing has been constructed to prevent accidental falls in the middle space between the two traffic lanes. As part of its $72 million seismic retrofit and painting plans for the bridge, Placer County is also planning to fill in the middle section’s gap and raise outside railings from their current height of 4 feet to as much as 8 feet. The recovery operation occurred on a day when many people were out cycling or walking in the canyon. Dave Geiger, an Auburn resident, had been gold panning in the confluence area but said he decided to wait near his vehicle while the body was taken out. Geiger said it was a sad situation that he didn’t want to witness as the sheriff’s department did their job. A small command station was established at a parking area at the side of the bridge but no traffic closures took place on Foresthill Road.