By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
An off-duty Bowling Green firefighter and his wife stopped a man from jumping off the East Wooster overpass at Interstate 75 late Saturday night.
Steve and Dawn Tyda were on their way home from Columbus on Saturday, when they pulled off I-75 around 11 p.m. They saw a man standing on the overpass, facing the highway.
Bowling Green Fire Chief Bill Moorman said Steve Tyda turned around and went back to the overpass and pulled up next to the man. Dawn Tyda asked the man if he was OK.
“He said, ‘I’ll be OK in about four seconds when I jump,’” Moorman said.
Dawn Tyda offered to talk or pray with the man, who turned back to the highway and leaned over the side. Meanwhile Steve Tyda came up behind the man and tackled him to keep him from going over onto I-75 below. Tyda held him down until police arrived.
The man, a 49 year old Bowling Green resident, was taken to Wood County Hospital where he was checked out by Behavioral Connections. He was transported to Flower Hospital in Sylvania for evaluation.
The man told police he had recently been suicidal. In the previous few days, he said he had attempted to hang himself, tried to sleep with a bag on his head, drank rust remover and stabbed himself in the stomach with a small paring knife.
“If he went through with it and jumped, it would affect so many people,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said.
Last year a man did jump off the I-75 overpass, resulting in several vehicles hitting him on the roadway.
“It was an absolutely horrific sight,” said Moorman, who helped distraught drivers who couldn’t avoid hitting the man who jumped.
Moorman praised Tyda for helping the suicidal man on Saturday night.
“It was somewhat heroic, with complete disregard for his own safety,” Moorman said.