Man Talks Despondent Pregnant Teen Off Ledge Of Freeway Overpass
A man passing over the 170 freeway yesterday pulled over when he noticed something awry: a teenage girl perched precariously on the ledge of the overpass.
Jay Schaefer, a 42-year-old plumber and the father of four daughters, flipped a U-turn, pulled over and started talking to her. It was just before 3 pm in North Hollywood. He told The Daily News, "I asked her if she was OK. She said, No, she wanted to die."
Schaefer found out the teen was 16 and had no place to live. "Nobody loves me," she told him. He said that he worked to convince her that jumping wasn't the answer. He called for help and while he waited for it to arrive, he held onto the woman through the safety tines of the overpass.
Police arrived and helped Schaefer hold onto her. Down below on the freeway, CHP halted traffic. Firefighters extended a ladder and ultimately helped her down off the ledge, before she was transported to the hospital. The whole rescue took about 40 minutes.
Schaefer said, "I hope she's all right. I'd like to see her pull through."
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone, remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.