Man drives off highway after girlfriend killed herself there

By The Associated Press | Posted - Feb. 23, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A man attempted suicide by driving off a winding Southern California mountain road hours after his girlfriend killed herself in the same manner at the same spot, authorities said Thursday.

Investigators determined the two vehicles that went over the side of State Route 18 in San Bernardino County last weekend were related suicide attempts — one of them successful, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Quintero.

The drivers, both from Riverside, were in a romantic relationship, Quintero said. No foul play was suspected in the crashes, which were still being investigated.

"It looks like it's a tragic, modern age, 'Romeo and Juliet' kind of thing," he said.

Jennifer Mae Shipcott, 45, was killed when her 2012 GMC Terrain tumbled more than 2,500 feet down the steep mountainside near Running Springs early Saturday.

The SUV was driven off the edge of a turnout along the road and came to rest on a lower portion of the highway, officials said. Shipcott died at the scene and the death was being investigated as a suicide, Quintero said.

That evening Shipcott's boyfriend, Paul Albert Chuderski, 42, survived after he drove his 2005 Nissan Titan pickup off the road at the same location.

Investigators believe the second crash was an attempted suicide, Quintero said.

Authorities did not provide Chuderski's condition Thursday.

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