Washington State Patrol Trooper rescues suicidal man over I-5 overpass

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The Washington State Patrol is reporting that Trooper John Pierce – with the assistance of officers from the Tukwila Police Department and an off-duty Seattle Police officer – pulled a suicidal man from the Klickitat Street overpass over northbound I-5 Monday night (Dec. 30).

Police say that shortly before 9 p.m., WSP communications received a report of a subject standing on an overpass street sign in the Southcenter area. Trooper Pierce quickly located the subject on Klickitat Street over the northbound lanes of I-5.

As Pierce attempted to negotiate with the subject, responding troopers closed the northbound lanes of I-5. The subject suddenly moved from standing on small bracing that connects the sign to the overpass, to grabbing a pole from the pedestrian guardrail over I-5. When the subject made the move, Pierce and Tukwila PD officers pulled the subject over the guardrail and onto the sidewalk.

“He was literally hanging over I-5 when we pulled him over the guardrail,” Pierce said.

Tukwila PD took custody of the subject and the freeway was immediately re-opened.

This is the second incident in a week where a WSP trooper has been involved in saving a person from a suicide attempt. Unfortunately, the WSP continues to investigate many incidents that do not end positively. There have been at least 16 suicides along the freeways in King County in the last two years.

The WSP urges travelers to report any suspicious activity of pedestrians along the freeway.

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