The Last Moments Before Death

In a chilling and controversial new documentary, "The Bridge," filmmaker Eric Steel attempts to capture and explain the draw of San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge to people contemplating suicide.

Over the course of a year, Steel filmed the iconic bridge from various angles, capturing 24 people's final moments of life before they plunged to their deaths.

In the documentary, Steel also interviews those who survived suicide attempts from the Golden Gate.

Kevin Hines, now a suicide prevention advocate, is one of them.

In an interview with "20/20's" Bob Brown, Hines recounts the tale of a fateful day in 2000, when he decided to take his life, only to change his mind milliseconds after jumping.

After failing to grab the railing, he managed to turn himself in midair -- feet first so he could survive the impact.

Hitting the water at 75 mph, he sank to an estimated 50 feet, with two shattered vertebrae. Struggling to the surface, he floated until rescuers reached him.

Below is an excerpt of Hines' riveting interview:

A Bus Ride and a Last Meal

I took the bus to -- to Walgreen's where I got a couple of candy things and sugar for the last meal, you know, it might as well taste good and I don't have enough dough to buy anything else. And then I got to another bus straight out to the Golden Gate.

So I got on the bus when it came and I sat in the back. And I always sat in the back in those days. I like to, I like to people watch, you know. I like to pretend I know what they're thinking and get into their heads.

But now I was only in my head, in the back looking around. And I started begging myself internally for God to find someone to come up to me and ask me if I was OK, do you need any help, something wrong, why are you crying?

I, I had said to myself, which is very common in, in suicidal thoughts and suicidal ideation among the mentally ill, is that you give yourself a way out, but you, yourself don't start that way out.

You, you ask someone in your brain -- like they can read your mind -- to, to you know, smile at you or to say something, so you can say, I need your help. And you will say it, but only if they say it first.

So I, I said to myself, well, if someone comes up to me, you know, and so I'm crying softly to myself, you know, eating my Starburst, crying in the back, right in the middle row, looking at all these people waiting for that, for that angel to come down and tap me on the shoulder and say, hey, are you OK?

And that in itself is just a grandiose kind of a psychotic nature of suicidal thought. That's not how the world works. People don't have tel -- telepathy -- at least not the ones I knew on that bus, you know. So you know, you get to the bridge and you step off the bus reluctantly.

You're the last person -- I was the last person off the bus. Look at the bus driver, waiting for him to say something, and he goes, come on, now.

You know like, I gotta go and you go, walk off the bus onto the concrete pavement, to the sidewalk. And I sat down near the flagpole there. I think I kind of looked at Joseph Strauss' statue. I thought well, here goes.

On the Bridge

Now I'm sobbing. So I walk on the span, back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down. I felt like it might have been 30, 40 minutes.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Attendees gather during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images