Police officer saves woman from falling off bridge into 'chilly' water

WATCH: An officer in Aberdeen, Wash., stopped a 50-year-old woman as she was climbing over the railing of the Chehalis River Bridge on Nov. 2.

A police officer in Washington State is being hailed as a hero for rescuing a woman from a potentially fatal fall off a high bridge.

Officer Gabe Tarnowski came to a 50-year-old woman’s rescue as she tried to climb over the railing of the Chehalis River Bridge near Aberdeen, Wash., on Saturday.

The Cosmopolis Police Department has released dashcam footage of the incident, which shows Tarnowski’s quick action to save her from the fall.


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In the video, the woman can be seen walking rapidly toward the side of the bridge while officer Tarnowski keeps pace with her a few metres back.

The woman reaches the railing, hoists herself up and swings one leg over the side.

Tarnowski rushes forward as soon as she touches the railing. He reaches her just as she starts to tilt away, then aggressively grabs her and pulls her back onto the bridge. Tarnowski pins the woman down at the end of the video.

This image from a dashcam video shows a Cosmopolis police officer preventing a woman from climbing over the central span of the Chehalis River Bridge near Aberdeen, Wash., on Nov. 2, 2019.

This image from a dashcam video shows a Cosmopolis police officer preventing a woman from climbing over the central span of the Chehalis River Bridge near Aberdeen, Wash., on Nov. 2, 2019.

Cosmopolis Police Department/Facebook

“Officer Gabe Tarnowski was quick to react and was able to grapple the woman prior to her plunging several stories to the chilly waters below,” police wrote on Facebook.

Police were at the scene responding to a “confrontation” between two individuals, which ultimately led to the bridge incident.

Authorities say the woman was trying to avoid capture.

She was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

No officers were injured in the incident.


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“Great job!” Facebook user Mavis Bowen wrote in the comments section. “Now that is when force is necessary and saved someone’s life!”

User Corey Baughn hailed Tarnowski for his entire approach.

“I liked how he kept pace with her but didn’t make her feel as if he was running after her,” Baughn wrote. “He waited and made sure her back was to him and — boom — saved her.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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