Pocatello police say anonymous citizen helped save life of suicidal woman

October 10, 2018

POCATELLO — Three members of the Pocatello Police Department have been recognized for their efforts to prevent a suicidal woman from jumping off a bridge Saturday night, but officials say a soft-spoken, anonymous citizen kept her safe until help arrived.

Officer Jeff Eldridge, one of the officers who received a letter of commendation from his lieutenant after the rescue, said he’d like to know who the heroic citizen was to express his thanks, as would other members of the department.

The woman was found sitting on the curved top of a protective chain-link fence along the Monte Vista Drive overpass above Interstate 15′s northbound lanes when police arrived. Eldridge said when he and other officers approached the despondent woman, another woman was standing by the fence, speaking so quietly he couldn’t decipher what she said.

But Eldridge has no doubt that her words were vitally important. She never gave her name and left before police could visit with her.

“A passerby was talking to the lady, trying to help her out,” Eldridge said. “Somebody sitting there talking to her probably kept her there a little bit.”

In addition to Eldridge, officer Tyler Anderson and Sgt. Derek Daniels were singled out in the commendation letter, and department leaders say the trio will likely be nominated for awards.

Eldridge said he approached the overpass from the west, and Anderson, who was the first to spot her from I-15 below, approached the overpass from the east.

The woman’s husband and children were also at the scene trying to talk her into returning to safety, Eldridge said. The husband was holding an infant. Eldridge said Anderson held the woman’s right hand through the fence and was doing “a lot of talking.”

Eldridge said the woman’s son held her left and also offered her reassurance. Sgt. Daniels and Sgt. Val Wadsworth shut down lanes of the overpass. Officer Lance Cartwright closed two of three northbound lanes present at that spot of I-15.

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