Bridge hero praised as 'heart warming courage' saves troubled pair

Police control the scene at Horns Bridge roundabout
Police control the scene at Horns Bridge roundabout

A Chesterfield hero who instinctively rushed to save two strangers from attempting to jump to their deaths has been praised for his courage.

Saintly passer-by Jeff Wardle told of his snap decision as he saw a young man and woman climb the railings of the footbridge by Horns Bridge roundabout last night – and feared they would jump.

Hero Jeff Wardle, 42.

Hero Jeff Wardle, 42.

The 42-year-old, of Chesterfield, said the instinct to help overtook him as he rushed to save them and called the emergency services.

He added: "I was walking across the bridge on the way to town and there was a girl and a guy half way across.

Two in hospital after Chesterfield bridge drama

"They both climbed over to get to the other side, they had been standing there for quite a while - they were thinking about it.

"I was almost across the bridge when I saw the guy climbing over first and then the girl followed him.

"So I ran back to them and me and another guy dragged them away from the railings.

"I called the police straight away. They took quite a while to get here so we kept a watch over them."

And Jeff said he was still in shock from the adrenaline after what had happened.

"My hands are shaking," he added.

The passers-by were praised for their instinctive intervention by onlookers at the dramatic scene, as police and ambulance crews secured the area causing temporary traffic disruption.

Officers later confirmed reports of a suicide threat made at about 5pm and two people were taken to hospital.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said: "Police and ambulance services were called to the scene to reports of a man threatening to throw himself from the bridge."

They confirmed it was the man's female companion who made the initial 999 call.

After police managed to get the man away from the bridge, his female companion then began threatening to jump from the bridge herself.

Police added: "She too was removed from the scene by police and both were taken to hospital by the emergency services."

Later officers praised Jeff for his bravery in the heat of the moment, adding: “We were called to reports of a man who appeared to be about to jump from a bridge in Chesterfield. By the time police had arrived, he had been helped to safety by quick-thinking members of the public, including an off-duty police officer.

“Their actions undoubtedly stopped the man from suffering serious injury and allowed the emergency services to offer the proper help and support to both him and the woman.”

Online reader Owen Paved praised him in a Facebook comment, saying: "Heartwarming courage Jeff."