VIDEO: Hero taxi driver talked down soldier who served in Afghanistan from Chesterfield bridge
Calls are being made for more support for service personnel who return from conflicts after a soldier who served in Afghanistan was talked down from a Chesterfield bridge.
Hero taxi driver, Steven Kerry, 45, saw a man standing on the bridge over the A61 bypass while dropping off a customer.
Fearing the worst, quick-thinking Steven headed straight for the bridge and managed to bring the man to safety.
“My heart was in my mouth,” Steven told the Derbyshire Times.
“I was just hoping he had not gone through with it.”
A-Line taxi driver Steven said that he noticed a man late at night on the bridge and was concerned about his welfare.
Steven, who lives on Oak Road, Grassmoor, took his passenger home before then making his way the scene.
He said: “I went up to him and I said ‘are you alright?’ and that we needed to get him away from the bridge and down to the lower ground.
"I told him that taking his life was not the solution."
The man, only known as Ben and believed to be in his late 20s to mid 30s, told Steven that he had been on the front line in Afghanistan.
Steven, a taxi driver of 12 years, said that he could sympathise with the man because he has family members who have also served on the front line.
While they were on the bridge, Steven signalled to a police car and an officer came to help and the man was brought to safety.
Steven has since received a card from friends of the man thanking him for what he did.
When asked what he thought about being labelled a hero, Steven said: “I am not a hero. Ben is a hero. He is the one who has been serving his country on the front line. I think heroes like Ben need more support because when they come out of the Army they do not know how to cope.”
Steven added that he has contacted MP for north east Derbyshire, Lee Rowley.
Sue Freeth, chief executive of Combat Stress, a charity which helps former service personnel who suffer with mental health problems, said: “The majority of veterans have a very positive experience in the military. However, there is a small but significant minority that do develop mental health problems and it is important that they know support is available for them.”
The 24-hour Combat Stress helpline is 0800 138 1619.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “At around 8.15pm on the evening of Monday, September 25, we were called to reports of a man in a dangerous situation near to the A61 in Chesterfield.
“The uninjured man was moved to safety shortly afterwards.”