Robert Verlin Bruno Jr. jumped over the railing of the bridge to avoid another crash
A California man’s heroic act to save a man’s life has tragically cost him his own.
On Wednesday, Robert Verlin Bruno Jr. plunged to his death while aiding a car crash victim on the Nello Irwin Greer Memorial Bridge in San Diego.
At around 5:15 a.m., a man driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck collided into the side of the bridge, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Travis Garrow, Fox 5 reports.
That’s when Bruno stopped his Subaru Outback at the crash scene to lend a hand, Garrow explained, Fox 5 reported.
As Bruno helped the crash victim, another motorist driving a Chevrolet truck pulled over to also help. Moments after the Chevy pulled over, a man driving a Kia Sorento crashed into the Chevy truck, Garrow said.
In an attempt to avoid the cars coming towards him, Bruno appears to have instinctively leaped over the rail of the bridge — but it was a 450-foot drop.
The bridge, commonly known as the Pine Valley Bridge, is located in San Diego’s East County and is one of the highest in the U.S.
“As this collision occurred, the Good Samaritan ran to the south road edge and jumped over the bridge rail,” Garrow said, Fox 5 reported.
“Unfortunately, the Good Samaritan fell to the bottom of the Pine Valley Creek where he sustained fatal injuries.”
Bruno’s body was found under the bridge and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man Bruno attempted to help suffered minor injuries as a result of the first crash. The motorists involved in the second crash were not harmed.
Since the fatal incident, Bruno’s fiancée has spoken out about his death saying, her husband-to-be was the type of guy who “would help anybody at any time.”
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“It didn’t surprise me at all,” Gwendolyn Sneed told NBC San Diego of Bruno’s accident.
“It makes me laugh and cry at the same time. It was totally him,” Sneed told the outlet.
Just two weeks before his shocking death, Bruno celebrated his 48th birthday.
“He was the other half of me,” Sneed told NBC San Diego. “Spiritually, physically [and] mentally.”
A GoFundMe page has been created in hopes of providing support to Sneed.