Man hanging from overpass saved by Ogden officer

Posted at 9:29 PM, Nov 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-28 23:29:24-05

OGDEN, Utah -- What would you say to someone to convince them to keep living? One Ogden police officer was faced with that very question during a routine patrol last week.

“His life literally was hanging in the balance,” said Officer Travis Kearl of the Ogden Police Department.

One week ago, on his way back from a call, Kearl’s work took him to an abandoned car parked above the Ogden River; where he had a conversation he’ll never forget.

“It took me completely by surprise,” Kearl said.

Hanging on the overpass, forty feet above the water, Kearl found the driver of that car.

“I looked right at him and I said, ‘Are you trying to kill yourself?” Kearl said, “And he looked right at me, right in the eyes, and said, ‘I have no reason to live.’”

Without thinking, Kearl answered.

“He’d been hanging here for over two hours, waiting to get the courage to go,” Kearl said. “And that’s when I told him that today is not your day.”

Then, he took the man’s life into his own hands.

“Grabbed him by his hand, and I picked him up right here and brought him over here to safety,” Kearl said. “He explained to me that he was a drug user and he was kind of on his last limbs with all of his family members. And this was basically the last straw for him.”

But once on solid ground, the man thanked Kearl for forcing him to take a different road in his life.

“He needed someone and somebody was sent here,” Kearl said. “I think a lot of the times we are where we’re supposed to be.”

According to Kearl, the man was eventually taken to McKay-Dee Hospital for crisis intervention.

He wants to remind people that if they ever feel like they need someone to talk to, there are resources available.  You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.