Kirk Spiegel, Second-Grade Teacher at LAUSD's Pinewood Elementary, Commits Suicide off 210 Freeway Overpass
Update: Spiegel did not receive a layoff notice, according to LAUSD media relations deputy director Gayle Pollard-Terry.
Early this morning around 2 a.m., 49-year-old Kirk Spiegel -- a Los Angeles Unified School District employee, according to LAUSD -- jumped to his death off the 210 freeway overpass in La Canada Flintridge.
"He was a second-grade teacher at Pinewood Elementary," LAUSD spokeswoman Susan Cox tells the Weekly. "He had been at the school for at least 15 years."
Cox could not say whether Spiegel had been one of the approximately 4,500 LAUSD teachers to receive notice of possible layoff in February.
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According to Spiegel's Facebook profile, he graduated from El Camino Real High (the same Valley campus plagued by an officer-involved shooting scandal earlier this year) and attended California State University Northridge until 1984.
From the Glendale News-Press:
Lt. Angela Shepherd of the Crescenta Valley Station said the incident appears to be a suicide and that Spiegel's body was found underneath the Glendale (2) Freeway overpass, adjacent to the Foothill Boulevard onramp in La Cañada Flintridge.
Though both agencies report Spiegel was discovered on the freeway's shoulder, Los Angeles County Coroner Operations Chief Craig Harvey said that his agency reports the body was found west of the Ocean View Boulevard overpass, making Montrose the place of death.
Spiegel apparently "jumped off a bridge, 911 was called and he was pronounced dead at the scene," said Harvey.
Near the end of March, in the Orange County town of Costa Mesa, a city employee committed suicide by jumping off City Hall after receiving a layoff notice.
In September, Rigoberto Ruelas, a LAUSD teacher at Miramonte Elementary School, also committed suicide.
Update: The La Cañada Valley Sun reports that Spiegel had been on medical leave since last year for unknown reasons. In addition:
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Broneer said Spiegel's vehicle was found on the on-ramp above his body.
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