‘Someone with such a pure love’
California police say Asian woman committed suicide from SF bridge
The death of a 20-yearold Asian student at Yale University who fell from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on Tuesday has been ruled an “apparent suicide’’ by the California Highway Patrol.
Luchang Wang, 20, who was a sophomore at Yale’s Silliman College in New Haven, Connecticut, flew to San Francisco on a one-way ticket from New Heaven on Tuesday and then jumped from the bridge, authorities said.
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway announced her death to Yale students and faculty in an e-mail sent campus-wide shortly before 6 pm (EST) Tuesday. He said she jumped around 1:30 pm (EST).
“The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been in touch with the Yale police and report no evidence of foul play nor any indication of an accident,’’ he wrote.
“This is a very difficult time for those who knew Luchang, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends,” Holloway wrote. “I ask you to focus on one another and offer support at this sad time.”
Daniel Hill, a spokesman for the CHP, confirmed Tuesday night that a female was reported at 10:29 am (PST) to have jumped from the bridge. A patrol team searched for Wang’s body but did not find it, Hill said.
He said California authorities contacted Yale after finding a photo ID of Wang in a backpack that she left on the bridge. He did not disclose if there was a suicide note or other belongings.
Wang was last seen Silliman College on Jan 25, when she was believed to have used her Yale ID to swipe into the school’s building. On Tuesday, her friends and family were alarmed by a troubling message that they said Wang posted on her Facebook page.
Wang’s classmates and friends then joined Yale police and searched for the mathematics major in New Heaven.
In a story on Wednesday, the Yale University Daily News said “students who knew Wang described her as a selfless and giving classmate who cared deeply about doing good for other people’’.
“Classmates, friends and mentors remembered a young woman whose intellect was matched only by her compassion, whose care for her academic work ran as deep as her concern for the injustices she observed in the world around her,’’ the campus newspaper said.
“Luchang was the kind of person that all people are supposed to be,” said Leigh Vila ’17, Wang’s suitemate, was quoted by the school newspaper.“There was absolute perfection in the way that she loved other people — and showed that she loved them.”
The newspaper said Wang attended high school in West Des Moines, Iowa, where she ran cross-country and won recognition for her academic excellence.
“Her motivation in life was to make the world a better place,” said Tammy Pham ’15, identified as a close friend of Wang’s. “It’s sad to see someone with such a pure love go like this.”
Wang is survived by her mother, father and a younger sister, the newspaper said.
In California, Lin Qian, vice-president of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford University, said, “We need to establish our solid social circles and talk to our friends if under pressure.”
“Always remember, there are plenty of resources at universities which can provide counseling and professional assistance to alleviate pressure,” she added. “It’s important for students to know where the resources are and how they can leverage on these resources.” Lian Zi also contributed to this story