Wichita police officer, passerby talk man down from busy overpass

Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 7:16 PM CST
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Thousands of cars travel on Kellogg daily, but on Tuesday one man stopped to prevent another man from making a tragic decision.

"I wanted to see if I could help him down. It's not worth it. It's not worth jumping on to the oncoming traffic. Because he was on the outside. He was about to jump," said Tony, who asked that we didn't use his last name.

Tony said he saw the man sitting on the edge of the overpass, swinging his legs back and forth.

He said it made him mad to think that out of all of the cars that passed by and saw the man, he was the only one who stopped and did anything.

"I saw a lot of cars driving past and nobody did anything. They just drove past like he wasn't there," Tony said.

Nicole Fenoglio is the president of Stop Suicide ICT. Shey says the suicide rate in Sedgwick County is 25-percent higher than the national average.

Still, she says Tony stepped in to help when it was needed the most.

"It reminds me of a story actually from Kevin Hines," said Fenoglio. "He was a gentleman who had attempted suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge, and he had talked about, he had stood there for hours that day and was feeling very lonely, and feeling like nobody cared about him. He said if one person had stopped and asked him if he was okay, he doesn't think he would have jumped. But no one did. For hours, no one stopped."

Fenoglio says friends and even family members can miss the warning signs from those who are struggling every day.

"I think we just get very caught up in our busy lives, and we don't stop and just pay attention to what is going on around us. So, if we are able to slow down and reach out to those who are struggling, we could save a lot more lives," she said.

Now, Tony was not alone in helping the man off the bridge. It was also thanks to the embrace of a Wichita police officer that the man came down from the overpass safely. You can view the video of that emotional moment below.

As always, remember if you need someone to talk to, help is available. You can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or the COMCARE Crisis Line at 316-660-7500.