Rashad Varma, Young Aspiring Comic, Jumps to Death off Historic Pasadena 'Suicide Bridge'
A bridge in Pasadena infamous for hosting over 100 suicides saw another jumper last Saturday.
The L.A. County Coroner's Office identifies him today as 25-year-old Rashad Varma of Montrose, originally from India. Friends on his Facebook memorial page say Varma immigrated to the U.S. at age 4, and later attended Clark Magnet High School in the Glendale Unified School District.
Another commenter, David Benitez, says Varma was "unafraid to go after his dream of being a stand up comic." What looks to be a video of him performing at Ha Ha Comedy Club in 2009...
... has since been removed from Varma's MySpace and elsewhere on the Net.
His funeral was held today at Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia. Writes Glendale resident Joe Metzger on the memorial site: "That was a beautiful service, thank you all for your love and your company."
Pasadena police Lieutenant Cheryl Moody told the Associated Press that investigators found Varma "in a fenced-off area near Arroyo Boulevard under the bridge" after receiving reports of a body in the area. She said it was "clear" that he had jumped from the bridge.
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The Pasadena landmark runs over the Arroyo Seco riverbed, supporting what was once Colorado Street but has since been re-named Colorado Boulevard. Here, a brief history of the overwhelming tragedy it has seen in its century of existence:
The Colorado Street Bridge curves over the river bed, giving the bridge a rather unique perspective as you drive over it. Along with the lamps located at regular intervals, the bridge has a very romantic and old charm look from a distance. But this unique structure has seen over 100 people commit suicide from it, plummeting the 150 feet to the ground below.
The first suicide was on November 16, 1919, and nearly fifty of the suicides occurred during the Great Depression from 1933 to 1937. Another report predicts that ninety-five people committed suicide from the bridge between the years of 1919 and 1937. ... The bridge underwent a twenty seven million dollar renovation in 1993, during which it received a suicide barrier. This has reduced the number of suicides, although the bridge still retains its nickname.
As of this Halloween weekend, we can count one more. R.I.P. Rashad.
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