On 04-12-2013, approximately 1:00 a.m., a passing motorist reported to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office that a 21 year old female was sitting on the railing of the Willow Creek Bridge on Highway 96, Willow Creek. The motorist told Sheriff’s dispatch the female was threatening to jump off the bridge and commit suicide. The bridge is approximately 75’ in elevation above Willow Creek.
Sheriff’s deputies and Hoopa Valley Tribal Police were immediately dispatched to the scene. When Deputy Mark Peterson arrived approximately five minutes after the initial call he saw a female walking on Highway 96 just north of the bridge. Deputy Peterson met with the female who was crying and said she was the reporting party. She told him she thought the suicidal female had already jumped off the bridge, because she could no longer see her. Deputy Peterson drove onto the bridge and saw no one. After looking further he saw a pair of hands gripping the railing from the outside of the bridge. The suicidal female was in the middle span of the bridge and was hanging off the east side with her feet on a two inch concrete ledge. The Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Hoopa Ambulance also arrived on scene, however staged out of sight. Deputy Peterson initiated a conversation with the female who told the deputy she wanted to jump off the bridge and kill herself. The female told Deputy Peterson during his conversations with her she was a mother of two small children and was married. Humboldt County Sheriffs Sergeant Jason Daniels who is a trained Crisis Negotiator responded to the scene and took over negotiations with the female. During the negotiations with the female she would periodically release her grip from the railing. The negotiations lasted approximate 90 minutes until the victim leaned close to Sergeant Daniels. Sergeant Daniels was able to grab her and pull her over the railing to safety onto the bridge. The female was turned over the medical personnel on scene and transported to a hospital for treatment.
Mike Downey Sheriff