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Archive for Wednesday, November 3, 1993

SUICIDE ATTEMPT STUNS ROOMMATE

November 3, 1993

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A Kansas University student who was seriously injured after jumping off of an overpass had been severely depressed recently, her roommate says.

A woman who leaped off a bridge on Tuesday had undergone disturbing changes recently, her roommate said today.

"The last couple of weeks, she was really sick all the time; really depressed," said the Kansas University freshman who shares a room with the victim at Hashinger Hall. "She scared me."

The victim, an18-year-old student from Kansas City, Mo., was seriously injured when she jumped off an overpass spanning the Kansas Turnpike about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Before jumping, authorities said, she had driven a car into the railing of the overpass, on Douglas County Road 438 about a half-mile north of Lawrence. The county road is the extension of Kasold Drive north of Lawrence.

The roommate, from Beardsville, Ill., said she found out after the incident that the car was hers. She has filed a theft report with the Kansas University Police Department.

The victim, she said, was a "smart girl and had her head on straight" at the beginning of the semester. But during the last few weeks, she said, the victim changed drastically.

The victim started staying in bed much of the day, quit eating and started missing school. The roommate said the victim was seeing a counselor, but later discovered that her victim was skipping counseling sessions. However she never heard the victim talk of suicide.

The roommate said that earlier this week, after the victim returned to school from her home in Kansas City, the victim said her parents were angry with her. The victim also complained to the roommate about her schoolwork, saying her classes "were stressing her out."

Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson said today that deputies had not determined why the woman drove the car into the railing or jumped off the overpass.

Although witnesses reported that the woman made statements that sounded suicidal, Anderson said authorities wanted to interview the woman before they concluded why she jumped.

The woman was listed in serious but stable condition today at Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo., where she was transported by helicopter after being taken by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

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