Lacey police officer saves suicidal teen jumper

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 18, 2011 at 11:23 PM

LACEY, Wash.-- We've seen it before. Someone in such depths of despair that they decide to jump from a freeway overpass.

Tuesday, a teenage girl would have been successful if it wasn't for the quick actions of a Lacey police officer.

At 9:30 am, officer Ken Westphal saw the teen standing on the railing of College Street, which overlooks Interstate 5.

"As she's stepping her other leg over the railing, I'm running toward her telling her to get off the wall, get off the wall," says Westphal.

The girl took a swan dive off the railing, but Westphal reached out just in time to grab her by the back of the pants. When he pulled her to safety and went to cuff her, he noticed lacerations on her wrists.

"I said why are you doing this? And all she said is 'I wanna die. I wanna die.'"

Officer Jimmy Williams arrived on scene and recognized the girl. He is the school resouce officer at North Thurston High School, the same school the girl attends. He approached the girl to talk to her after the incident.

"I believe what she whispered is 'I need some help," says Williams.

"I hope she has a second chance and that she takes that chance and she does something with it," says Westphal.

The teen was taken to Providence St. Peter for treatment.

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