Driver talks woman down from bridge

RESCUE Rob Daniels, from Havant, stopped a young woman from jumping from a bridge onto the A27 near Hilsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (131146-1227)
RESCUE Rob Daniels, from Havant, stopped a young woman from jumping from a bridge onto the A27 near Hilsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (131146-1227)

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THE quick-thinking actions of driver Rob Daniels stopped a woman from jumping off a footbridge.

Rob, 36, of Swarraton Road, Havant, was on his way home from work, when he noticed a young woman who looked as if she was about to jump off a bridge on the A27.

The footbridge is off Peronne Road in Hilsea.

Rob, who is a cleaner at the Tesco store in Fareham, said: ‘I was on the A27 driving home from work at 5.15am, and at the top of a footbridge I saw a woman who was just about to jump.

‘I stopped my car to stop her from jumping.

‘I called the police first, then I stopped traffic on one side of the carriageway.

‘She was a 20-year-old who was very distressed.’

Rob has been doing the route for more than a year, and said this is the first time he had seen anything like this.

He said: ‘I was panicking as I waited for the police to come.

‘They were there in five minutes, but it felt like a lot longer.

‘The whole time I was persuading the woman not to jump.

‘At one point she slipped and I was worried she was going to fall.

‘But when I saw her, I knew I had to stop and help.

‘I couldn’t have it on my conscience if something had happened to her.’

Police officers escorted the woman from the bridge, before taking her away.

Later on Rob received a phonecall from Hampshire Constabulary, thanking him for his life-saving actions.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘We would like to recognise this man for his selfless behaviour in a sensitive situation.

‘He put himself in harm’s way to help someone in distress.

‘His instincts and decisions were commendable in making contact with the woman on the bridge, and speaking with her until two police officers arrived at the scene.

‘We were grateful for how he’d kept control in delicate circumstances where lives were at risk.

‘Police were then able to approach the woman on the bridge and bring her to safety. An officer contacted the man afterwards to thank him for his actions, which helped to save this vulnerable woman’s life.’