UPDATE: Man who leaped to death from I-15 overpass onto SR-91 ID’d

UPDATED: Thursday, March 14, 11:30 a.m.

See Original Story below.

CORONA — Officials have identified a man who leaped to his death from the I-15 overpass onto the 91 Freeway below in Corona last week, Saturday, March 9.

Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials yesterday identified the victim as Jason Birrell, 42, of Fullerton. A coroner’s release indicated Birrell was pronounced deceased at the scene of the fatal jump at 12:42 p.m.

Even as CHP continues investigating last Saturday’s deadly incident, another person leaped onto the 215 Freeway from the Van Buren Blvd. overpass this morning, Thursday, March 14. That second incident caused a SigAlert and the southbound lanes of the 215 Freeway remain closed as of this update.

SEE RELATED: BREAKING: Second RivCo freeway jumper in 5 days forces SR-91 closure, SigAlert


Original Story: Man leaps from I-15 overpass onto SR-91, run over by several cars

CORONA — CHP has issued a SigAlert after a man reportedly drove to the top of the I-15 overpass above the 91 Freeway and leaped to his death earlier this afternoon, Saturday, Mar. 9.

The victim’s body was struck and run over by multiple vehicles after landing within the lanes of traffic on the 91 Freeway, east of Main St. Officials have no idea when the SigAlert will be lifted, while CHP and others continue to work at the scene.

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CHP, along with Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and Corona Fire Departments, and other emergency personnel were first alerted to the fatal incident around 12:30 p.m., when CHP emergency dispatchers began receiving multiple reports of a man who drove to the top of the overpass, climbed over the railing and leaped onto the freeway below.

911 callers reported that after landing on the freeway below the high overpass, the victim was hit and run over by several vehicles whose drivers could not react or stop in time to avoid hitting the victim. According to a CHP incident log, several vehicles that either struck or run over the victim’s body had pulled to the side of the freeway and the traumatized drivers remained at the scene to be interviewed and provide statements to officers.

When officials arrived at the chaotic scene they found the victim, who has been described as a white male adult wearing a red plaid shirt, deceased near the middle of the four lane freeway.

Officials are investigating a man’s death after the victim leaped from the I-15 overpass onto the 91 Freeway below. John Strangis photo

Within minutes of arriving, CHP issued a SigAlert, and closed the HOV lane, as well as the number one, two, and three lanes.  The number four slow lane was initially left open for traffic to continue moving slowly past the scene of the deadly incident.

Officer’s investigating the apparent suicide found the victim’s vehicle, described as a small gray car, parked on the overpass. When they searched the vehicle they found no suicide note, but did locate medical paperwork, according to CHP’s incident log. The car was later towed from the scene and stored as evidence.

As of this 3 p.m. report, coroner officials had not yet arrived at the scene and were still headed to the location.

The man’s suicide and CHP’s subsequent SigAlert has created a traffic nightmare for commuters and weekend travelers, with many reporting lengthy delays in their travel times.

CHP’s investigation is active and ongoing at the scene and officials have not yet released any further details.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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