Flagler County deputy saves juvenile from jumping off highway overpass

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — A Flagler County sheriff’s deputy rescued a teenage girl attempting to jump off a bridge over I-95 on Sunday.

Deputies said they received a call around 6 a.m. from a father who stated his juvenile daughter was threatening to hurt herself. The father told deputies his daughter left their home in Palm Coast and said, “I can’t do this anymore,” before running down the street.

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Deputies were notified that the girl was possibly heading to the overpass bridge of Palm Coast Parkway and Interstate 95. When deputies arrived, the juvenile was holding on to the outside of the bridge railing, making her way towards the highway. Deputies shut down Palm Coast Parkway and I-95, while multiple agencies responded to the scene.

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After learning that the female juvenile did not like males, deputies quickly brought in a female negotiation team. While the female deputy negotiated with the teen and let her know she was there to help, the juvenile let go of the railing to jump. Deputy Jenkins grabbed her hand before she could fall and then secured the juvenile to the rail with handcuffs. After an hour of negotiations, the rescue team successfully brought the teen to the ground using a fire engine ladder.

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“This is an outstanding rescue by all agencies involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “The quick response and combined efforts of FCSO deputies, Crisis Negotiations, Communications Center, Fire Rescue, and the deputies holding the juvenile’s hand saved a life today. Their training in de-escalation techniques and being able to talk to someone who’s threatening to take their life is remarkable. I commend all the men and women who stepped up for this child’s life today. Someone’s daughter was saved on Father’s Day, and I hope she receives the help she needs.”

The juvenile was placed under the Baker Act and transported to Halifax for further medical evaluation.

There are numerous resources for help with mental health struggles in Flagler County. For more information, visit http://www.flaglerlifeline.org/local-mental-health-services/ or call 800-273-8255.  You can also visit: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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