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Medic saves would-be Monongahela bridge jumper

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

The Monongahela Bridge and a portion of state Route 837 in the city were closed for about 20 minutes Tuesday morning as police and emergency responders rescued a woman dangling from the side of the span.

When police arrived just after 8:30 a.m., they found the woman on the outside of the railing on the Monongahela side of the bridge. The bridge over the Monongahela River connects the city and Forward Township.

The woman was dangling about 75 feet above Route 837.

“She climbed over the handrail and had her back to the roadway,” Monongahela police Chief Brian Tempest said. “She had her two elbows on top of the railing. That was the only thing holding her up.”

Route 837 was closed under the bridge, and police advised the fire department to set up some type of catching device like a tarp, Tempest said.

When police approached, the woman told them to leave her alone and threatened to jump.

While talking to the woman, police were able to get within 8 feet of her.

A Tri-Community Ambulance female medic gained the trust of the woman and eventually was able to pull her to safety.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll Township.

Police declined to identify the woman, saying only that she is in her 40s.

She gave no information to police.

The bridge initially was closed at the time of the incident, reopened to clear vehicles from the area, and then closed again until the woman was pulled to safety.

A man who identified himself as the medic on duty at Tri-Community Ambulance declined to identify the crew member who rescued the would-be jumper.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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