OCFA Capt. Eric Weuve. Courtesy of the Department
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Eric Weuve. Courtesy of the department

An Orange County Fire Authority captain had recently returned to duty after shoulder surgery before he leaped to his death from the Crown Valley Parkway overpass of the Interstate 5 Freeway in Mission Viejo.

But as shocked co-workers tried to determine why Capt. Eric Weuve killed himself, officials declined to speculate over the role the shoulder surgery may have had in the suicide.

“That’s the question everybody is asking — why? That’s unfortunately the question nobody has an answer to except Capt. Weuve,” OCFA Capt. Larry Kurtz said.

The father of two young children was off duty for several months following the surgery, Kurtz said. He had recently returned to regular duty.

“The word `tragedy’ doesn’t really do it justice,” OCFA Capt. Larry Kurtz said. “He was a great asset to the OCFA and he will be thoroughly missed by all of the OCFA community.”

Services for Weuve were still being planned, Kurtz said.

While there was no definitive 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 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 Kurtz. At the end of Tuesday’s county board meeting, Spitzer adjourned the gathering in the dead captain’s memory.

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 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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.