WATCH: Florida Deputies Hold Teen's Hands As She Hangs Off Highway Overpass
By Bill Galluccio
June 22, 2021
A female team of Florida deputies is being hailed as heroes after saving a 17-year-old girl who was threatening to end her life by jumping off a highway overpass.
When deputies arrived at the overpass bridge of Palm Coast Parkway and Interstate 95, they found the girl hanging over the edge on the wrong side of the chainlink fence. Because the teen has a problem with men, a female negotiating team was sent to try to talk her down.
"It was a tap dance, it was a tap dance, we were just trying to find anything just to keep her talking," Deputy Crista Rainey said.
While the deputies were talking to the teen, she let go of the fence and began to fall towards the highway below. Jenkins quickly reached out and grabbed the girl's hand and kept her from falling. The girl tried to let go numerous times, forcing Jenkins to handcuff her to the chainlink fence.
The deputies spent an hour talking to the girl before a fire truck arrived to help bring her down. Rainey climbed up on the ladder and continued to speak to the teen, trying to convince her to come down.
"It was a little scary, but I think I was just more focused on getting her down," Rainey said.
Eventually, they managed to get the girl back down on the ground and took her to a hospital for a psychological evaluation.
"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."