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GWB Heroism: Port Authority Police Officer Tackles Teen Jumper

GWB Photo Credit: PHOTO: Jerry DeMarco

FORT LEE, N.J -- A Port Authority police officer tackled a suicidal 17-year-old girl as she ran to the railing of the George Washington Bridge looking to jump Wednesday morning.

The Princeton University preparatory student from Pennsylvania, who'd tried killing herself twice before, parked her BMW in Manhattan and walked to the bridge, authorities said.

Around 10:30 a.m., Officer Theresa Jeffrey spotted her while transporting a prisoner, they said.

The girl was crying.

Concerned for the teen's welfare, Jeffrey doubled back and got out of her police cruiser.

"Get back! Get back! I just want to die," she shouted.As the girl turned toward the railing, Jeffrey "hopped the divider [between the walkway and the road], made a beeline and tackled her," a responder told Daily Voice.

Emergency Services Unit members converged on the area and the girl was taken by ambulance to Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck.

This comes less than a week after a Port Authority police lieutenant kept a suicidal teenager on his cellphone long enough for colleagues to keep him jumping from the GWB.

There have been 47 interventions and eight confirmed suicides at the bridge so far this year, the authority's Joseph Pentangelo told Daily Voice.

It will be a little over three years before a suicide fence is built on the George Washington Bridge, despite efforts by local municipalities to get one sooner, authorities said.

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