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Woman Dies in Fall From O.C. Bridge

November 08, 2005|Susana Enriquez | Times Staff Writer

A woman plunged 75 feet to her death Sunday when she stopped on a bridge to pick up belongings that had fallen out of her truck earlier that day.

Jennifer Lee Hashimoto, 35, and a friend were moving her belongings from Rancho Santa Margarita to Irvine. She was driving west on Santa Margarita Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita about 7 p.m. when she spotted her items, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Hashimoto and her friend parked the truck in the left-turn lane to Alicia Parkway and started walking in the fast lane, he said.

Looking for a safer place to walk, Hashimoto jumped over the guardrail and fell into the dry bed of Trabuco Creek. Her friend, who was behind her, called for help when Hashimoto disappeared.

Hashimoto was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a tragic accident," Amormino said. "She thought there was solid ground on the other side."

She was probably not able to see the drop, he said, because it was dark and the area is poorly lighted.

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