Location: Harlow Road Overpass
Case Number: 24-3079
Date/Time: 5.4.2024 @ 2200Hrs
More Information: spdpi@springfield-or.gov
Completed By: Zak Gosa-Lewis, Public Information Coordinator

On May 5, 2024, Springfield Police Department Officers responded to the area of Gateway Street and Harlow Road in relation to calls from a friend and the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline regarding a suicidal young man. Officers were able to locate the young man clinging to the exterior of the chain link fence over Interstate 5.

Officers stopped traffic in the area and made attempts to speak to the young man, but he was unresponsive due to his headphones. An SPD sergeant, who is a trained crisis negotiator, responded to the area and was able to speak with the young man. Unfortunately, the young man slipped and was hanging onto the chain link fence. Officers rushed to his aid and were able to keep him from falling by pulling his clothes through the fence.

Medics arrived below on I5 with their emergency lights activated. The young man, who has epilepsy, began to have a seizure due to the lights and went limp, being held up solely by officers grabbing his clothing. At that point, a Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy utilized his K9 leash to loop through the fence and tether the young man’s limp body to the structure.

Officers from SPD, LCSO, and the Eugene Police Department took turns holding the young man tight to the fence as an SPD Officer utilized bolt cutters to meticulously cut the fence before pulling the young man through. An SPD Officer who is a former EMT was able to clear the young man’s airway and place him into the recovery position until paramedics arrived. The young man is expected to make a full recovery.

The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. If you believe that someone else is in danger of suicide and you have their contact information, contact your local law enforcement for immediate help. You can also encourage the person to contact a suicide prevention hotline using the information above. The young man in this case was fortunate to have both the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and a friend contact emergency personnel to assist him.