Pinellas Co. deputy saves woman from jumping from the Skyway bridge

Pinellas Co. deputy discusses his rescue of a suicidal woman from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- A deputy is being regarded as a hero after rescuing a woman just seconds before she attempted to jump from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the incident happened around noon Tuesday afternoon.

37-year-old Deputy Damon Laney was driving while he was off-duty when he noticed a car that was pulled along the northbound lanes on the Sunshine Skyway bridge at I-275 with their hazards on. 

Laney started to pull his car behind the vehicle with his emergency lights on when he saw a 50-year-old woman get out of the car and run towards the barrier wall of the bridge.

Having no time to leave his car, Laney quickly sprung into action and used his car to trap the woman's legs between the bumper of the car and the barrier wall.

The woman found a way to free herself before he could get out of his car and started to jump over the wall. Laney was able to grab the woman by her waist and pull her back over the barrier, where she continued to struggle against him, crying, "Just let me jump."

Thankfully, the woman was not harmed in the incident and she later told the deputy she had been upset about personal issues. She was placed under the Baker Act and put into protective custody.

Deputy Laney has been working in the sheriff's office since 2012 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Operations DUI Unit. 

MORE: Suicide and the dark side of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Skyway is the number one bridge for suicide on the East Coast. In 2016, there were 12 suicides, 24 possible suicides, 6 saves, and 1 survivor. There have been 100 suicides in the last decade.

MORE: The skywaybridge.com website is dedicated to reporting on, educating and ideally stopping jumpers. 

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.

Have a news tip? Email tips@wtsp.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

© 2018 WTSP-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment