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Teenager dangles by her legs from freeway overpass sign in San Diego County

A possibly suicidal teen dangled upside down by her legs from a freeway overpass sign in Vista for roughly 30 minutes Wednesday evening before firefighters safely got her off the sign.

The girl, reportedly between 14 and 17 years old, was spotted hanging from the state Route 78 sign affixed to the Emerald Drive overpass about 5:10 p.m. Her arms were extended and her legs hung onto the freeway sign over the westbound lanes, witnesses and the California Highway Patrol said.

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"She wasn't flailing or communicating with the police, just dangling motionless the entire time," said Vista resident David Grandis, who was stopped not far away on a Route 78 on-ramp. "It was a pretty surreal sight for an evening commute."

CHP officers stopped westbound traffic on the freeway. Motorists were diverted off the freeway at Emerald, causing traffic to back up several miles, the CHP said.

A Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, comprising a mental health clinician who is paired with an officer, was sent to talk to the girl.

About 30 minutes later, firefighters got her to safety. She was taken to a hospital for an evaluation, authorities said.

All westbound lanes were reopened shortly after.

Hernandez writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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