New con­sta­ble and mem­ber of the pub­lic res­cue bridge jump teenager

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Zoe Drewett zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

ATEENAGE girl was dra­mat­i­cally res­cued from an A40 bridge by a quick-think­ing mem­ber of the pub­lic and a hero po­lice of­fi­cer in his first week on the job.

Po­lice closed the dual car­riage­way in both di­rec­tions at Swake­leys Round­about on Mon­day morn­ing, after ar­riv­ing on the scene to find a girl, in her mid-teens, had at­tempted to jump from the bridge.

A pass­ing mem­ber of the pub­lic had man­aged to grab the girl’s arm through the safety rail and held on, leav­ing the young­ster dan­gling over the road be­low.

PC De­wayne Hamil­ton, in his first week of work with Hilling­don Po­lice, then vaulted the rail­ings and put his arm around the girl to stop her fall­ing.

He said af­ter­wards: “I am just glad I was there and able to make a dif­fer­ence. I have a child about this girl’s age and all I could think about was sav­ing her. I am so happy we were all able to res­cue her from dan­ger.”

London Fire Bri­gade (LFB) and London Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (LAS) at­tended and were able to get a har­ness around the girl to help se­cure her.

A spe­cial­ist cherry picker crane was then used to reach the girl and bring her to safety, be­fore re­turn­ing to bring down PC Hamil­ton.

The girl was taken to hos­pi­tal for treat­ment. She did not suf­fer any se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­jury dur­ing the res­cue and both her and her fam­ily are re­ceiv­ing support.

Mo­torist Ju­lia Pons, one of the first on the scene, said: “We were all vis­i­bly shaken and ex­tremely con­cerned about the girl. She is all I have thought about since we saw her.”

In­spec­tor Lind­sey Han­ni­gan, of Hilling­don Po­lice, paid trib­ute to all those in­volved in the res­cue and said: “This was an in­cred­i­bly coura­geous act by the of­fi­cer.

“What makes this even more im­pres­sive is that this of­fi­cer only ar­rived at Hilling­don Bor­ough one week ago as a pro­ba­tioner con­sta­ble.

“His ac­tion, which placed his own life in dan­ger, was an ex­tra­or­di­nary act of brav­ery. I would also like to pass on my sin­cere thanks to those mem­bers of the pub­lic who helped.

“The emer­gency ser­vices worked seam­lessly to­gether and I pay trib­ute to the work of our col­leagues.”

Driv­ers trav­el­ling along the A40 were hit with de­lays dur­ing the in­ci­dent, with queues stretch­ing back east­bound to the M40, in Den­ham, and west­bound beyond the Pol­ish War Memo­rial, in Ruis­lip.

Samaritans are avail­able around the clock for those strug­gling to cope. Call 08457 909 090 or email jo@samaritans.org

■ SAVIOUR: PC De­wayne Hamil­ton is taken back to ground level after the res­cue

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