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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Coach Says If It Weren't for Group of Kids, Woman Hanging from Bridge Would Have Killed Herself

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On April 4, a middle-aged woman in Fresno, California, was ready to end it all. She sat on the Stanislaus Bridge, her feet over the edge, contemplating the jump.

But a group spotted her and started shouting to her. “Your life is worth it!” they yelled.

That group was made up of 6th-8th graders, out for a jog. Members of the volleyball team at Kepler School, they quickly informed their coach of the situation, and the coach told them to keep yelling while he dialed 911.

The school posted about the incident later, calling the young boys heroes for their actions.

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“While the woman was hanging and on the verge of falling off the bridge, students reminded her that her life was worth it and begged her not to give up,” the post read. “Members of the team also had their coach, Elliot Murray, call 911.”

“The boys’ pleas led to the woman pulling herself up to safety.”

“These young men stepped up when no one else could,” Timothy Yeager said. Yeager is Kepler School’s Director of Student Services. “Words fail to do justice how incredibly proud we are of these Kepler scholars and Coach Elliot’s leadership.”

“Authorities arrived after the woman was safe and they say she is doing okay. Members of the team say this is a day they will never forget and say they were thankful to be there to encourage the woman to make the right decision.”

According to that post, Coach Elliot Murray called the incident a miracle. “A miracle happened! Our scholars were part of saving a life,” he said. “We pour our hearts into the lives of these kids every day and they stepped up in a way they’ll never forget. I’m so proud of them.”

The boys remember those tense moments clearly. They’ve had access to the school psychologist to help them process the events, but they’ll never forget the image of the woman dangling from the bridge.

“She was like, one hand, and feet hanging already,” Brandy Ezell, a student, told ABC11.

“We went up we were there for like ten minutes, trying to distract her,” another boy, Elijah Gomez, recalled.

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“I feel like we distracted her long enough,” Joshua Velasquez said.

The woman has been placed on a mental health evaluation hold for the next three days. Their coach is certain that because these boys were in the right place at the right time, she didn’t want to jump in front of them, and they ended up saving her life.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking