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Teen dies during apparent social media stunt on Los Angeles bridge, police say

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 17-year-old boy fell to his death this weekend while climbing a Los Angeles bridge in an apparent social media stunt, police said.

Police were sent to the 6th Street Viaduct around 2 a.m. Saturday and found the boy, who was pronounced dead at a hospital. His name wasn't immediately released.

The teen slipped and fell “when climbing upon one of the arches, in order to post, apparently, a social media broadcast,” Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday during a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission.

The bridge opened last July. The $588-million span, which replaced an 84-year-old Art Deco span, runs 3,500 feet (1,066.80 meters) over the concrete-lined Los Angeles River and connects downtown to the historic Eastside.

The bridge, which has thousands of LED lights and views of LA's skyline, is the largest and most expensive span ever built in the city. It was designed to become a city landmark.

But police closed the bridge several times after it quickly became a hotspot for street racing, graffiti and illegal takeovers that drew hundreds of spectators to watch drivers perform dangerous stunts in their vehicles.

Social media stunts abounded as well — in one case, a man sat in a barber’s chair for a haircut in the middle of the lanes.

A man was also fatally shot on the bridge in January during unauthorized filming of a music video.

“Tragically we see that location, while it has spawned a great deal of pride in Los Angeles, it has also unfortunately served as a backdrop now for tragedies such as this,” Moore told the Police Commission. “Our added patrols will continue at that location … to counter such reckless actions.”

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