Interstate 17 shut down by jumper in apparent suicide

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by Mike Gertzman

Video report by Jason Volentine

Posted on March 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 11 at 8:40 AM

PHOENIX -- The northbound lanes of Interstate 17 were shut down at Northern Avenue Sunday night after a man jumped off of the Northern Avenue overpass, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Officials said the man, believed to be in his 20's, was hit by as many as three cars. He did not survive.

Police said they received a call at about 7:30 p.m. about someone climbing over the overpass fencing. The fence is curved over to prevent someone from climbing and that is why police think the man jumped and did not fall.

Police were talking to several witnesses on Sunday night who either saw what happened or actually hit the man.

"It's got to be somewhat traumatic to them," said Sgt. Steve Martos with the Phoenix Police Department. "Obviously you're driving along on the freeway it's not something that you would expect to occur so I'm sure they're somewhat traumatized."

The freeway was expected to be closed for about 2 hours on Sunday night.

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