CHP officers put own lives at risk to save woman from overpass - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

CHP officers put own lives at risk to save woman from overpass

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Two California Highway Patrol officers saved a woman from jumping off a freeway overpass in Carlsbad, and the dramatic rescue was caught on camera.

The suicidal woman was spotted along the edge of the Carlsbad Village Drive bridge over Interstate 5, Tuesday night.

The video, captured by a driver, showed the CHP officers grabbing the woman's arm and pulling her to safety.

Officers Kerry Comphel and Jason Hughes almost talked the woman down, but knew they had to make a move before she did.

"I think she heard our footsteps and looked up and at that point dove over the side. I was able to grab the back of her sweatshirt to slow her down," said Officer Hughes.

On the ground, artist William Brooks recorded the heroic measures on his cellphone.

"The officer that was chasing her, reached over grabbed real quick before they went down and saved her from going down, they would have fallen otherwise," said William Brooks. 

As the suicidal woman began to slip out of her sweater, she yelled to be let go, but Officer Comphel did not let go. It was a personal matter that kept him from letting her go.

"For me it really hits home. My brother killed himself when he was 18-years-old. I was 17," he said.

Two more Carlsbad Police officers arrived to help CHP pull the woman over the wall.

"They are amazing! They are amazing! He was so fast and he did the right thing," said Brooks. 

When the officers left the hospital, the woman who is 21-years-old, thanked them for having saved her life. The officers plan to revisit her.

"We do care about everybody that is out there," said Officer Comphel.

The CHP Commander for the Oceanside district will recommend the officers for the highest award. While the officers went back to work, they said the traumatic event is something they have never experienced.

The CHP officers also thanked the Carlsbad Police officers too, and a spokesperson said they are grateful to have helped.

If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, know there is help available.

The number of the suicide prevention life line is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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