Courageous teens get bravery awards

THREE courageous teenagers who stopped a man jumping off a bridge onto the busy A14 are today celebrating two top bravery awards.Fourteen-year-olds Matthew Tortice, Tyler Hunter-Mahon and Tom Sheeran pulled the father-of-two back from the wrong side of the bridge barrier four times while they waited for police officers to reach the scene.

THREE courageous teenagers who stopped a man jumping off a bridge onto the busy A14 are today celebrating two top bravery awards.

Fourteen-year-olds Matthew Tortice, Tyler Hunter-Mahon and Tom Sheeran pulled the father-of-two back from the wrong side of the bridge barrier four times while they waited for police officers to reach the scene.

Last night parents and pupils watched as the boys received awards from the Royal Humane Society - nominated by The Evening Star - and from Suffolk police.

The sports hall of Orwell High in Felixstowe was packed for the presentation, made as part of the school's annual awards night celebrations.

Royal Humane Society chairman Julian Spicer presented testimonial certificates, signed by society president Princess Alexandra, while Inspector Steve Gallant made awards on behalf of the police.

Mr Spicer said the awards were given to people who put their lives at risk to save others and in many cases these involved suicide attempts and were “most dangerous”.

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“Saving someone determined to commit suicide when drunk or possibly violent takes a great deal of courage,” he said.

Insp Gallant paid tribute to the boys and said they had stepped willingly into a situation when many adults would have walked on by.

They had not only saved the life of the man on the bridge, but also prevented a serious accident on the A14 below had he fallen, which could have resulted in other deaths or serious injuries.

The incident happened on September 11 as Matthew, Tyler and Tom returned home from school.

They spotted the man on the bridge in Trimley High Road and went to see if he was all right. As well as physically restraining him, they tried desperately to persuade the 35-year-old not to take his own life by leaping into the stream of port-bound lorries and cars.

They told him to think of his family and children and how they would feel if he committed suicide.

What do you think of the youngsters' actions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINKS: www.eveningstar.co.uk

www.orwellhigh.com

www.royalhumanesociety.org.uk

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