Cops Investigate Bizarre Suicide Attempt

Suicidal brothers drive off cliff, stab themselves with glass.

ByABC News
June 9, 2008, 4:56 PM

June 10, 2008— -- When two brothers drove off a 40-foot cliff in a suicide attempt, they tried to finish the job by stabbing themselves with shards of broken window glass and flinging blood to fend off the rescue workers trying to save them, authorities said.

Earl Neale, 42, drove himself and his brother, Vern Neale, 51, off the side of a steep and winding road in Salt Lake County, Utah, Saturday night, police said.

"After they realized they had survived, they started taking glass from the shattered windshield, and one started cutting his neck and the other slashing his wrists. They were flinging their blood at the deputies who were trying to save them," said Detective Shane Manwaring, of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The men were driving a white Pontiac Grand Prix, which was found 40 feet from the road, flipped over on its roof when police responded.

Firefighters were called to cut the brothers from the wreckage in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

"One of the brothers became compliant and exited the vehicle after firefighters cut him out. The other became hostile, and deputies used a Taser to place him in custody."

Manwarning said the men were using "illegal narcotics" at home in Midvale, Utah. "They were using drugs and started hearing voices, when they decided to take a drive up to the canyon and commit suicide," he said.

"According to their statements it sounds like they were trying to kill themselves to stop hearing the voices, more than the voices were telling them to kill themselves," he said.

The detective described the road as "very steep and very windy that runs along the edge of the valley. It is real easy to find an area with a 50 foot drop."

Earlier in the week, another person attempted suicide nearby, by driving a car off the road but also failed in his attempt.

Reached by ABC News in his hospital room at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, Vern Neale described himself as "tired and sore."

The older of the two men said his brother believed he was "being followed," and that both men were using cocaine before deciding to kill themselves.