The horrific scenario that unfolded this past Monday – the Chesapeake suicide on the High Rise Bridge – apparently occurred very quickly according to the Virginia Pilot.

If you missed the story: authorities have said that a man, Robert Michael O’Brien, appears to have committed suicide by driving into oncoming traffic at the High Rise Bridge.  His goal was apparently to take his life and that of his wife.  The wife lived, and is listed in good condition.  O’Brien did not live, nor did the driver of a pickup truck who was struck head on by O’Brien’s vehicle.

A neighbor, according to the Pilot, says O’Brien left his apartment complex in a hasty manner.  He is said to have “walked quickly to his car…” and “sped through a stop sign as he left the complex.” Interestingly, the neighbor noted that he left alone.  The crash took place an hour and a half later with his wife in the car.

Just prior to the crash, O’Brien called an acquaintance to reportedly “watch the news.”  He also directed the person to the location of a letter – Police recovered this letter at his home, eleven pages in length.

For the time being, police are not discussing or releasing the contents of the letter.  The public should not expect such information, as Sgt. Michelle Cotton, state police spokeswoman, said “I don’t think we’ll be giving out any more information” when referencing the 11 page [possible] suicide note.

Key information the police have kept under wraps include whether alcohol was a factor, motive, and the speed of the vehicles when the crash took place.  Thus, many questions still remain and perhaps only time will provide the answers for a community still in shock.


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