‘I kept holding her really tight’: Tow truck driver helps prevent suicide on Hwy. 401 overpass
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, January 4, 2018 7:05PM EST
A tow truck driver is being credited for saving the life of a woman who was about to jump off a Highway 401 overpass in Woodbridge.
Dino Juiakumar says he was taking Highway 401 home early this morning when he spotted the woman laying “with her head down” on the side of the overpass on Weston Road.
Considering the bitterly cold temperatures, which reached a high of -17 C in Toronto, Juiakumar said he knew the situation “wasn’t good.”
He quickly pulled his rig over and approached the woman, who he now noticed was crying.
The 19-year-old woman told him through tears that she was going to end her own life.
Juiakumar said as soon as he motioned to grab his phone out of his pocket to call 9-1-1, the woman made a break for the overpass and started to try and climb over the edge.
At that moment, he threw his phone to the ground, grabbed the woman in a tight bear hug and started moving her away from the overpass.
“I was holding her and she was pushing my jacket and kept saying she wanted to jump, that she seriously wants to go, so I kept holding her really tight,” he said.
“I told her it's not going to happen, I’m here, and it’s not going to happen.”
When Ontario Provincial Police arrived, they revealed that there was an outstanding warrant out for the woman’s arrest.
The charge, theft from a motor vehicle, was laid back in 2016 but police say a recent altercation at a police station led to an additional charge of mischief.
Juiakumar, who appears in Discovery Channel’s ‘Heavy Rescue: 401,’ said he often faces difficult situations on Ontario’s busiest highway but few compare to what he experienced this morning.
“I feel great. You know, life isn’t easy," he said. "I helped save a life and I feel happy (that I could).”