BOTHELL, Wash. — Five strangers are being hailed as heroes after they worked together to prevent a man from jumping onto I-405. It happened Saturday morning on the Highway 527 overpass in Bothell.
"I was sitting in my van," said Liam McPherson. "He had his leg here and his foot on the concrete."
McPherson demonstrated what he saw as he sat in traffic on the overpass high above I-405.
He took a picture of the man moments before running over to join a stranger who was trying to stop him from jumping.
"When I walked up to him, he had his hand here," McPherson said, holding onto the rail. "And his other hand on the bar. And he pushed back when I got close to him like he was going to go. So I stopped."
At about that time, Brian Valdivia joined in.
"He was already like this on the side of the bridge," said Valdivia. "And I came over and I just bear-hugged him and then pulled him over, pulled all my weight towards me. Because if I were to fiddle with him over the bridge, then it was just going to be both us."
"He was right over these two lanes," said McPherson. "Just if he would have let go, he would have fallen over the freeway."
They held him until police could arrive.
"I helped the officer put handcuffs on him," said Valdivia. "And I just laid on my back like just so much was on me. I felt so much. This was life or death."
McPherson wanted a photograph of all of five men as a keepsake, but Bothell police tweeted it as a way of saying thanks.
The men all felt the weight of what they managed to prevent.
"He kept on saying, 'Nobody cares about me,'" said Valdivia. "I was like, 'If nobody cared about you, we wouldn't be here right now.'"
"It's been kind of hard on me today," McPherson said. "I'm trying to work. But I feel badly for this guy. I hope he gets the help that he needs."
Both men say they cried when it was all over.
Valdivia says he learned his lifesaving skills as a high school wrestler.
There's one 29-year-old man who owes his life to the five strangers who risked their lives to save his.
Click here for a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Anyone in need of help can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The national crisis text line is 741741.
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