King County: Two Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers received awards today from Chief Batiste for their life saving efforts in the course of their duties.
On November 23, 2016 at approximately 4:22pm Trooper Brian Gavin responded to a report of a subject in possible distress NB I-5 on the Ship Canal Bridge. Once Trooper Gavin arrived he observed two male subjects talking to a female that had her legs dangling over the side of the bridge. He quickly realized this was a critical situation and immediate action was necessary so he signaled to the two males who he had determined were good Samaritans that he was going to pull the subject off of the railing. Trooper Gavin very quickly and in one motion was able to grab the individual under the arms and bring her back over the rail to safety.
Sergeant Stewart contacted the hospital and spoke with this 19 year old female at length who indicated that if it were not for Trooper Gavin’s intervention she would have jumped. She went on to say that Trooper Gavin treated her with respect and was very professional.
At approximately 11pm on August 22, 2017, Trooper Chase Van Cleave responded to a report of a pedestrian on the S.144th St. overpass above NB I-5.
A 19 year old female was standing with both feet over the railing saying that she should jump. Tukwila PD Officer Mike Richardson was on the overpass talking to the individual, trying to get her to come back over the railing. Trooper Van Cleave is a trained negotiator and was asked by Tukwila PD to contact the overpass to speak with the female. During the time it took Trooper Van Cleave to arrive at the overpass, Officer Richardson did an outstanding job keeping the individual occupied by talking to her.
Once Trooper Van Cleave arrived he was escorted near the female by Officer Richardson. Trooper Van Cleave began speaking with her and noticed her behavior was getting more dangerous as she started a countdown to jump off the overpass. Trooper Van Cleave was able to get her to stop the countdown and get her to bring one leg back over the railing. She asked about making a phone call and allowed Trooper Van Cleave to come close to give her his phone. She took the phone and allowed Trooper Van Cleave to stay close at which time he was able to grab her and pull her over the railing to safety. The individual was checked out by the Tukwila Fire Dept. precautionary even though she was claiming no injuries. She was transported to the hospital for a mental evaluation.
Troopers Gavin and VanCleave did an exceptional job using their training and their ability to take quick and decisive action which prevented two lives from being lost.
These two incidents are some of many that troopers have faced and have the potential of being involved in every time they come to work.
Great job and well done!