Two Newmarket men, who fought a life and death battle to stop a suicidal man hurling himself to his death from a bridge over the A14, are to receive top national life-saving honours.
Darren Jenkins, of Green Road, Newmarket, and PC Ian Watson, have each been awarded Royal Humane Society testimonials on parchment for their actions during the late-night incident on December 13 last year.
A 42-year-old man from Newmarket had been spotted by Mr Jenkins as he climbed over the safety barrier at the bridge at Newmarket and positioned himself to jump. Pc Watson, who was on duty at the time, arrived to find Mr Jenkins holding the man’s left arm. As he took hold of the man’s other arm, without warning he stepped off the bridge and was left hanging in the air.
The two men managed to haul him back over the barrier to safety. “My only thoughts were I have got hold of him and I’m not going to let him go, we have got to get him back over,” said Pc Watson. The man was taken to hospital.
In addition to the awards they are to receive the plucky pair, who could have been pulled over the barrier themselves or injured by taking the man’s weight, also won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, as he announced the awards at the society’s London HQ.
“If they had not been there to stop the man jumping, quite apart from the possibility of death or serious injury to himself he could also have caused a serious pile up on the road below.
“The two of them richly deserve the awards they are to receive. But for their efforts this could have turned into a major disaster.”