On Monday morning, truck driver Done was driving across the Lewis and Clark Bridge when he saw a boy with one leg hanging over the side of the bridge.
Acting on instinct, Done stopped his truck and called for help. Then he got out of his truck and approached the 16-year-old boy. He told The Daily News that it took 20-30 seconds from the time he left his truck to the time he reached the boy.
“I walked slow and was talking to him. I kept telling him, ‘Let’s talk. Hold on a minute. You’re too young. You don’t want to do this.’ I wanted to talk to him pleasant until I could get hold of him,” Done told The Daily News. “I didn’t want to run toward him. I just kept saying, ‘Let’s talk a minute.’ I was very soothing.”
As soon as he was within arm’s length, Done reached out and grabbed ahold of the teen’s coat and pants, preventing him from leaping into the cold Columbia River waters below.
“It was all adrenaline. As soon I got to him, I wasn’t going to let go. I wasn’t going to let him do it on my watch,” Done said. “I grabbed him by the coat and his pants. Another guy standing there grabbed his legs. We kept telling him he was too young and whatever he was going through was not worth it.”
Done said the teen begged and screamed for him to let go and to let him jump, but Done held tight and eventually pulled the boy from the bride’s edge.
By this time, a group of people had gathered and bridge traffic had stopped in both directions. Bystanders were offering encouraging words and prayers.
When the Rainier Police Department arrived, they took the teen into protective custody.
Done told The Daily News that the experience shook him and that it took him several hours to calm down after the incident.
“I was shaking and started crying. I don’t know why. I have two boys of my own, and this boy wanted to end it,” Done said. “As the day went on, I became happy. It was a good day. I am glad I was there when I was there.”
Source: The Daily News