SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Scarsdale residents were shocked and saddened over the news that a village resident was identified as the man who lept off the Tappan Zee Bridge on Wednesday morning.
According to state police, Karl Peterson, 29, drove north onto the bridge at 5:18 a.m., when he promptly stopped his SUV and leapt off the bridge. His body was retrieved less than a half hour later by the Westchester County Police and Tarrytown Fire Department near the Tarrytown Marina.
Although she noted she didn’t know Peterson, Scarsdale resident Maria Keller said her thoughts and prayers were with the family.
“Even if we didn’t know him, he was still a neighbor, and he still has a family that is going to be devastated by this,” she said on Wednesday afternoon. “He had his reasons, hopefully the family can learn those and try to get some closure.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, no note was found, and police were still investigating the motive behind the sudden suicide. The body was found near a concrete bridge located closer to the surface of the water.
“If people need it, they have to ask for help. This didn’t have to happen,” Bill Williams said in the village. “It’s just a sad story that we hear too often.”
Attempted suicides are something state and local officials have struggled with on the Tappan Zee Bridge for years. The bridge features suicide prevention phones and signs warning that “life is worth living.” Other safety measures include suicide fencing and traffic cameras.
Despite the precautions that have been taken to prevent such a tragedy, resident David Bloome said that more needs to be done so this can’t happen again.
“It’s senseless and we hear about it more than we should. They’ve taken some steps, and that’s great, but clearly more needs to be done,” he said. “I know it won’t be easy, but it’s necessary.”