One man's divorce had been finalized for barely two weeks, but already there was a turmoil going on inside of him that made him feel he couldn't go on. The surgeon took a leap to his death off a bridge on Sunday, leaving behind a devastated ex-wife and children. It's unclear exactly what drove him to the act of desperation.
Robert Ashton, 52, was the thoracic surgery director at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. He had been married to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief women’s health correspondent, but the struggling marriage was brought to an end two weeks ago when the divorce was finalized. The ex-spouses lived just across the street from each other in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in the shadow of the very bridge that Ashton ultimately used to kill himself.
Ashton reportedly went on the George Washington Bridge, the bridge that connects Manhattan and New Jersey, and jumped from the Fort Lee span. The suicide occurred at approximately 8:30 am on Saturday. The doctor's body was recovered at Hazard's Dock in Palisades Interstate Park.
His family, including his ex-wife, is at a loss after the tragic incident. Dr. Jennifer Ashton put out the following Facebook post on Sunday: "Our hearts r broken that the father of my teenage children took his own life yesterday. As an MD he helped so many and we will remember his warmth generosity and kindness. We know that many families struggle everyday with depression while others like us don’t have any warning. We hope by sharing some of Rob’s story it will save others the heartache we feel. You are never alone," she wrote.
"Pls get help. May he Rest In Peace," Ashton added.
Aston's family is not revealing personal details about Dr. Robert Ashton's state of mind or motivation for suicide.
"Jen and her children are heartbroken," ABC News president James Goldston said in a message to his staff members, "but they know many families struggle with depression, some for years while others, like them, have no warning."
Source: NY Post