Good Samaritan Who Died in Jumping Off Bridge Had Ocean Beach Connection

by on February 7, 2019 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

Robert Bruno and Gwendolyn Sneed

The good Samaritan who perished in jumping off an east county bridge Wednesday had an Ocean Beach connection.

Robert Bruno – who had stopped to assist a stranger in a wreck on the Pine Valley Creek Bridge and then jumped off the bridge to avoid a second wreck – lived in Ocean Beach with his fiancée Gwendolyn Sneed for years and raised his son here.

Bruno, 48, lived in Jacumba Hot Springs and was on his way to work in San Diego, according to Sneed, when around 5 a.m. he saw a Ford F-150 blocking the westbound Interstate 8 near the bridge.

Bruno was an installation manager at a business called Life Deck; he liked to restore cars; had a motorcycle which he rode for pleasure.

His son, who was raised in OB, is now 28 years old. Sneed says they raised him together since he was nine.

Sneed said:

“It wouldn’t be unlike him to pull over and help somebody out. He did what he thought was right at the time. He was that guy to help out a friend, to help out a stranger.”

The bridge is dangerous when dry, but it had just snowed the night before and – as many bridges are in such conditions – was very icy.  Plus it was foggy.

According to CBS8:

CHP said the icy, foggy conditions caused the F-150 with a baby inside hit a guard rail. They said speed played a role as well.

CHP said Bruno pulled over his Subaru then moments later two other cars came crashing into the first scene. He tried to get out of the way by running to the south edge of the bridge then jumping over the railing. Unfortunately, the area where Bruno jumped was a 300 – 400-foot drop to the Pine Valley Creek below.

Authorities located Bruno’s body about an hour later. The tragedy was part of a series of accidents at that moment and at that place.

The driver of the Ford F-150 received only minor injuries, the baby was not hurt, nor were the occupants of the other vehicles. Moments later, another truck swerved to avoid the first crash and collided with a Kia Sorento. A fourth car then slammed into the back of the Kia, CHP said.

According to 7SanDiego:

Bruno’s body was found in a snow-covered canyon under the bridge by a chopper that was weaving through support beams during the search. He just celebrated his 48th birthday two weeks ago. While the chopper spotted Bruno just before 7 a.m., crews were still coming up with a plan to retrieve the body hours later.

Between bedtime and 5 a.m. when Bruno left their house for work, snow had fallen. Sneed said she was still cozy in bed and no cautious advisories were exchanged that morning. …

The other victims involved in the crash, including a 4-month-old infant, were all believed to be accounted for, firefighters said. Only minor injuries were reported but medics did transport one person to the hospital.

At 450 feet tall, the Pine Valley Creek Bridge is the 11th highest bridge in the U.S., according to World Atlas.

While rain had cleared Wednesday morning, forecasters warned that roads would remain icy for several more days. CHP said conditions on the bridge at the time of the crash were foggy, icy and snowy. A CHP officer told an NBC 7 News crew the bridge conditions were so unsafe reporters could not be on it.

Caltrans crews dumped a truckload of sand to de-slick the roadway enough to remove the vehicles after the crashes. During, traffic was reduced to one lane on westbound I-8




{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debbie February 8, 2019 at 4:29 am

He gave his life while helping others. The world lost a good man!


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