Virginia drivers made the extra effort during a heavily traveled afternoon rush hour to save the life of a woman who had jumped from a bridge Wednesday, abandoning their vehicles to provide CPR and divert traffic to make it easier for emergency personnel to arrive.
The efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, as the 52-year-old woman died from the fall, Virginia State Police Sgt. Les Tyler told The Freelance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va. The woman jumped from an overpass in Spotsylvania County onto the Interstate 95 southbound lane.
Traffic was backed up for five miles as a result of the incident. The county area is about an hour south of Washington, D.C. The I-95 southbound lane is heavily traveled during the late afternoon rush hour.
The newspaper reported that several motorists pulled over to help around 5 p.m., 10 minutes after the incident was first reported to 911.
A man wearing a Navy uniform performed CPR and took the woman's vital signs. Others covered her with a blanket or made followup calls to 911.
Other citizens were diverting traffic until emergency responders arrived, witnesses told the newspaper.
The newspaper did not identify the woman. It provided the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The particular overpass on Route 208/Courthouse Road, has a history of suicide attempts, the Freelance-Star reported. Last December, a local high school student jumped from the same bridge and died after being hit by a car. In November 1997, a 41-year-old man jumped from the bridge into the northbound lane but survived.
(H/T: The Freelance-Star)