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Authorities shut down Highway 101 near Goleta to rescue distraught person

U.S. Highway 101 southbound was shut down from Patterson to Turnpike in the Goleta Valley over the weekend following an incident involving a distraught individual threatening to jump from the Turnpike Road overpass.

Authorities described the individual as a 48-year-old Oxnard man who had climbed the west side security fence and was on the middle of the overpass overlooking the Highway 101 southbound lane.

“The distraught male was sitting on the ledge of the sign supports with a piece of clothing tied around his neck and to the sign support,” said the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

After about 20 minutes of the deputies talking to the man, he untied the cloth from his neck and sat back from the edge of the sign support, the Sheriff’s Office explained. Santa Barbara County firefighters assisted with calming the man down and eventually getting him down from the freeway sign to safety.

The man was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation, authorities say, and the highway was opened soon after.

This is the second incident of its kind at this location in the past several weeks.

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