Anna Bachman was in San Diego visiting her sister. The 25-year-old graduate student was enjoying the warm break after finishing her fall semester at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where basically everything is frozen solid.
She and her older sister Gail were at Sunset Cliffs, a local favorite spot to view stunning sunsets over the Pacific ocean, when she tried for the perfect picture just after 5 p.m. on Sunday. Anna took one step too far back, and tragically fell to her death on the rocks 100-150 feet below.
This one hits home for me -- my old apartment was walking distance from Sunset Cliffs. I’ve studied for many final exams there. Heck, that’s where we had our engagement pictures taken. It’s truly gorgeous, but dang it, those fences and signs are there for a reason!
Anna was studying urban planning and policy, and was described as “excellent student,” so I don’t know what was going through her mind when she decided that the “unstable cliffs” signs posted everywhere didn’t apply to her, but it was probably something like -- I can’t wait to see how this pic turns out!
I know because that’s what went through my mind when I broke those same rules to get some awesome pictures. I’ve climbed those fences myself. I’ve probably stood too close to the edge. And you know what goes through your mind? Nothing. You don’t feel like you’re defying death -- or really in danger at all. Your footing is sure, and those signs are really just for liability’s sake.
I wasn’t there on Sunday, so I don’t know how close to the edge Anna was, or if it was windy, or any other number of variables, but I do know that it’s likely she wasn’t being stupid -- she just wasn’t thinking.
It was just a horrible, tragic accident.
Have you ever ignored any “danger” signs to get a good picture, or even just for a better view?
Image via Alejandro De La Cruz/Flickr