Another death occurred at Lake Siskiyou on August 27, with 29-year-old James David Vanaltena drowning after jumping off the Wagon Creek Bridge. It’s the second death from someone jumping off the bridge in just a week’s time.
According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, Vanaltena jumped off the bridge around 7 pm and failed to resurface. The Weed local had friends nearby who attempted to help him, but they were unable to locate him. The next morning, a diving team recovered his body in 52 feet of water below the bridge.
The incident was especially alarming, considering it happened just a week after 21-year-old Aurdie Murphy suffered the same tragic fate at the bridge on August 20. Similarly, Murphy failed to resurface after jumping off the Wagon Creek Bridge, with his body being recovered the following morning.
In 2013, county ordinance banned jumping or swinging from the bridge, which sits on the north end of Lake Siskiyou below Mount Shasta. No Jumping signs are posted throughout the area, although to the untrained eye, the jump does not seem dangerous.
“As a reminder, it is unlawful and extremely dangerous to jump from, or climb on, the Wagon Creek Bridge, and signs are posted indicating the restrictions,” said the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office in a statement. “Additionally, due to the lower water level, the bridge is much higher off the water than normal, and that increases the danger significantly.”
“DO NOT jump from the Wagon Creek Bridge at Lake Siskiyou.”