Suicide attempt at state park averted

LISBON – A Calcutta man is in East Liverpool City Hospital in stable condition following what police say was an obvious suicide attempt in Beaver Creek State Park.

St. Clair Township Police Chief Donald Hyatt said they had been notified of a 32-year-old white male who had not been seen since Saturday morning. The man, whose identity is being withheld pending further investigation, had sent what Hyatt called despondent text messages to friends and family members, which indicated that the man intended to take his own life.

Hyatt said St. Clair police received the information from 911 dispatch at noon Saturday. According to family members, the man had been missing for several hours with no indication of where he had gone. St. Clair officers soon began a search of the township, ultimately without success.

At approximately 4 p.m., police received word from a person who had seen a white male apparently passed out behind the wheel of a pickup truck inside the Beaver Creek State Park. “We moved quickly on that call,” Hyatt said.

Upon arrival, officers located the truck, its engine still running, parked by the large pond in the Pioneer Village section of the park, with a man matching the description of the missing male slumped behind the steering wheel.

Officers found a hose connected to the exhaust pipe that looped into the cabin, “obviously pointing to the fact that the person inside the truck was attempting suicide,” Hyatt said. Officers were able to remove the man from the truck, as the hose was routed through a door that wasn’t completely shut. They found him to be unresponsive but still alive.

The man was transported from the park by North Star Critical Care to East Liverpool City Hospital.

Hyatt could not answer how long the man had been in the park before police arrived, but stated that it was not as long as he had been missing, otherwise officers would likely have found him deceased. “It doesn’t take long,” Hyatt said.

The case remains under investigation, with no answers as to why the man attempted to kill himself. “At this point in time, we have no idea,” Hyatt said. “We’re still trying to unravel the reasons why, and we don’t have a definitive answer for that.”