A Long Island teen leaped to his death off the Whitestone Bridge Thursday, police said.
Eric Doll, 19, of Merrick, died on November 15, when he jumped off the middle of the Whitestone Bridge shortly before 3 p.m., authorities said.
“My son was my only child. I loved him,” his mother told The Courier. “My whole family is grieving. It’s a horrible loss.”
Doll graduated from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in 2011, according to a school district representative. He excelled academically with a final average in the mid 90s.
“He was a high achieving student and very nice young man,” said Michelle Gagnon, a school district spokesperson. “It’s a very unfortunate thing.”
Witnesses said traffic came to a standstill Thursday afternoon when they saw a young man out of his vehicle, standing dangerously close to the edge of the bridge.
“I’m going over the bridge and I see a guy at the corner of my eye standing outside [the railings],” said motorist Craig Ross of Glendale. “All of a sudden, all these brake lights come on, and all these people start getting out of their cars and running to the rails and bending over as if to vomit.”
Ross, 44, said within seconds a woman was screaming with her hands in the air and he knew somebody had jumped.
“That’s just really terrible. It’s hard to understand what kind of stresses can drive somebody to do that,” he said. “At that age, there are a lot of things going on. You get through it — tomorrow’s another day. I guess that wasn’t the same for him.”