Both directions of Highway 99 closed in south Sacramento due to possible jumper

Highway 99 was closed in both directions at Mack Road in south Sacramento on Thursday afternoon, freezing traffic and delaying commutes in response to police activity.

Update: Standoff ends after 10 hours; freeway reopened Friday morning

Caltrans spokeswoman Deanna Shoopman said the California Highway Patrol was on the scene due to reports of someone threatening to jump off the Stockton Boulevard overcrossing.

Northbound traffic is being detoured at Calvine Road and southbound traffic is being detoured at Mack Road, Shoopman said.

CHP spokesman Eulogio Ceja said officers were on the scene attempting to talk the person down. As the evening rush wound down, thousands of motorists worked their way off the highway and the clog began to diminish. Southbound traffic was backed up to Fruitridge Road and northbound traffic was backed up to Sheldon Road at 7 p.m.

As of 6:30 p.m., negotiations with the person were ongoing and the closure was still in place. There is no estimated time of opening, Shoopman said.

“The California Highway Patrol recognizes this closure has caused a significant inconvenience for countless motorists, but the safety of the suicidal person, the officers at the scene, and the motoring public who travel on State Route 99 daily is our foremost concern,” the CHP said on Twitter.

John Marchese and his passenger had been waiting motionless for about two hours before moving aside to let an ambulance through around 5 p.m. They hadn’t packed food or water for what they thought would be a short trip to Guitar Center, a decision Marchese said he regretted as he sat near the Calvine Road and Power Inn Road intersection just north of Elk Grove.

“We’ve made friends with all the people around us and there’s been lots of jokes and anecdotes, but it’s certainly becoming a nuisance now,” Marchese said. “It seems like there’s technology that could have likely been leveraged in this situation.”

Vincent Moleski covers business and breaking news for The Bee and is a graduate student in literature at Sacramento State. He was born and raised in Sacramento and previously wrote for the university’s student newspaper, the State Hornet.
Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.