Shocked members of the Orange County Fire Authority Wednesday mourned the suicide of a captain who jumped to his death from the Crown Valley Parkway overpass of the Interstate 5 Freeway in Mission Viejo.
“The word ‘tragedy’ doesn’t really do it justice,” one official said of the father of two children.
While there was no word of a motive for the suicide, Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer recalled difficulties people face during the holiday season and “how precious life is.”
“Incidents like this serve as a reminder the holidays are a very tough time for a lot of people, so just hope everybody spends a great time with their family and remind yourself and your family just how important and precious life is,” Spitzer said.
The victim. the father of a 14-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, leaped from the overpass just before 11:20 a.m. Tuesday and was struck by vehicles, according to OCFA Capt. Larry Kurtz. At the end of Tuesday’s county board meeting, Spitzer adjourned the gathering in memory of Capt. Eric Weuve.
The 41-year-old Weuve was assigned to Station 64 in Westminster, Kurtz said.
Weuve worked for the OCFA since 2005, according to Kurtz, who said the Authority’s chaplains were of assistance.
“The word `tragedy’ doesn’t really do it justice,” Kurtz said. “He was a great asset to the OCFA and he will be thoroughly missed by all of the OCFA community.”
It was not immediately clear what prompted Weuve to jump from the overpass.
“That’s the question everybody is asking — why? That’s unfortunately the question nobody has an answer to except Capt. Weuve,” Kurtz said.
Services for Weuve were still being planned, Kurtz said.
Weuve was off duty for several months following shoulder surgery, Kurtz said. He had recently returned to regular duty.
The incident forced authorities to block southbound traffic until a couple of lanes were reopened at 12:10 p.m., Kurtz said.
Authorities were called just before 11 a.m. about the threat, said California Highway Patrol Officer Agustin Latosquin.
Northbound traffic was not blocked.
Weuve’s Facebook page shows him pictured with children; the page states that he was a Huntington Beach resident who was divorced in 1999. Mission Viejo is listed as his hometown.
–City News Service and staff
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