Hero teens save man on bridge

THREE teenagers were today hailed as heroes after saving the life of a man who was threatening to jump off a bridge over the A14 at Felixstowe.Matthew Tortice, Tyler Hunter-Mahon and Tom Sheeran, all 14, pulled the man back from the wrong side of the bridge barrier four times while they waited for police officers to reach the scene.

THREE teenagers were today hailed as heroes after saving the life of a man who was threatening to jump off a bridge over the A14 at Felixstowe.

Matthew Tortice, Tyler Hunter-Mahon and Tom Sheeran, all 14, pulled the man back from the wrong side of the bridge barrier four times while they waited for police officers to reach the scene.

As well as physically restraining him, the boys tried desperately to persuade the 35-year-old man not to take his own life by leaping into the traffic.

Police were called on Monday about 5.30pm after one of the boys - all pupils at Orwell High School - saw the man trying to jump off the bridge in Trimley High Road onto the busy A14 dual carriageway below.

The teenager said he was talking to the man and trying to convince him not to jump.

During the course of the initial conversation, and for much of the incident, the man had one leg over the bridge railing over the Felixstowe-bound carriageway.

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When police offices arrived they extremely pleased with the boys' actions.

Officers then talked to the man, who was removed from the bridge and arrested and taken into custody. He was later given a caution for being drunk and incapable.

He has apologised for the problems he caused and was assessed by a doctor before leaving custody.

Officers at the scene said the boys had saved the man's life and told Felixstowe police commander Insp Stephen Gallant that if the boys had not got involved, the man would have jumped.

Insp Gallant is nominating the trio for a Suffolk Constabulary award for their efforts.

Orwell High headteacher Peter Tomkins said he was “very impressed” with the youngsters' actions.

“They did a wonderful job - I think it is the sort of thing many adults would have shied away from doing,” he said.

“Not only did they pull the man back from the barrier, but they talked to him for 15 minutes, encouraging him not to jump. We hear a lot about the bad things young people do but this shows there are some good youngsters in our community.”

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

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