When Costa Mesa Police and Fire personnel reached a 28-year-old man who'd hung himself by a tree in the Talbert Regional Park Preserve last Saturday night, there was still a chance to save him. Though “lifeless,” the unidentified homeless man was still “warm to the touch,” according to police Lt. Tim Schennum.
But the darkness, dense brush and “precarious terrain” conspired to prevent life-saving equipment from arriving in time, Schennum says.
The call of a man hanging by his T-shirt from a tree came in about 7:50 p.m. from the park that is just south of Victoria Street and straddling the Santa Ana River and Huntington Beach border.
“Officers quickly arrived; however, due to the extremely dense brush and darkness, they had difficulty finding the subject,” according to Schennum, who said first responders had to cross a 10-foot wide creek, via a downed tree, to get to an encampment area that was about a half-mile south of Victoria.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was begun immediately upon reaching the man, and attempts to revive him continued for 10 minutes. As this was going on, paramedics discovered they were unable to bring their equipment into the area. The fellow was carried out to a clearing, but by then it was too late.
“Sadly, in the end, fire personnel declared the subject deceased,” Schennum says.