City to install signs where woman jumped off bridge


DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — The mayor has plans to help people considering suicide. This comes one week after police say a woman jumped off a bridge in town.

The city will be putting up signs at Memorial Bridge with a suicide hotline number and a positive message to remind people of the alternatives to ending their life.

On Tuesday, police found a 27-year-old woman in the Vermilion River at the bottom of the bridge. Officials say she jumped off of it and died at the hospital.

When Julie Carlson heard what happened she brought the idea to Mayor Williams. She says, “Depression and other issues that come into play with the unfortunate monster we call suicide are right here in Danville. They’re everywhere. Nobody is untouchable.”

Mayor Williams says, “If someone is thinking of harming themselves, if we can do something to help prevent that from happening, especially if it’s something as simple as making a sign then absolutely we should do it.”

Carlson says, “If we have an opportunity to have some sort of sign or message, something that gives hope and a resource, there aren’t any guarantees but there’s an opportunity that somebody could pause long enough to send a text or make a call or do something to recognize they’re in a community that cares.”

Carlson’s 14-year-old son Zachary McDonald died by suicide. She knows what it’s like to live and move forward after that painful loss of a precious life. She wants these signs to signify the importance of each person and possibly give hope to anyone considering suicide.

“I promise you this whole world is a completely different place without you,” says Carlson. “You affect more people than you know. You have more people who love and care about you than you can imagine. You are needed.”

Mayor Williams says they plan to get the signs designed, made, and installed before the end of the year.

The family of the woman who died started an online petition to put a fence in front of the bridge.

Here are some places that provide mental health resources in Danville.

Another resource is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Golf Tour Extravaganza 2020