A hero black cab driver has told how he risked his life by clinging on to a woman who was trying to jump from a London bridge.
Steve Teague described how he leaned over the side of Lambeth Bridge, grabbing hold of the distressed woman’s arm, while another bystander clutched the cabbie’s belt to stop him being pulled over the edge.
The 50-year-old, along with two other members of the public, stayed with the lady and held her back until police could arrive and take her to safety.
Mr Teague told the Standard he was driving home to Bickley when another vehicle pulled up sharply in front of him and ran over to the side of the bridge on Friday evening.
He said he saw a struggling woman on a ledge. She was being held back by a man who was pleading with her not to jump.
He said: “I jumped over the top of the bridge so I was off my feet. There was a guy behind me who was hanging on to the back of my trousers to stop me going over.
“I was hanging over the top of the bridge reaching over to the girl.
"I managed to get hold of her wrist while she was trying to fight off the other guy.
“I was telling her to stand up but she was really struggling. She was adamant she was going to throw herself off.”
The cab driver told the struggling woman: “You’re not going anywhere, there’s no way I’m letting you go, it’s not going to happen.”
Mr Teague said the “real hero” turned up seconds later, a man in a business suit and tie who climbed over to get a better grip of the woman.
The three men then worked together, each getting hold of each other to stay steady until the emergency services could arrive.
He said: “Without a second thought, he went over and tried to calm her down. We were all holding on to each other.
“I was saying to the guy behind me ‘don’t let me go, if one goes we’ll all go.”
The cabbie said it felt like they were holding on for around 15 minutes, but in reality the police arrived after around five, turning up alongside the RNLI and fire brigade.
She was rescued and taken to a place of safety, while a shaking Mr Teague drove home, feeling “a bit emotional”.
The cabbie, who has been operating in the capital for 17 years, was given a hero’s reception and a round of applause by other taxi drivers at a café in Victoria station at the weekend.
And it is not the first time he has saved a life, jumping in a Kent river to help a drowning eight-year-old three years ago.
But he told the Standard: “I’ve said to the other drivers we’d all do the same.
“I’m just glad I was there. It was the right place, right time I think. You’d hope everybody would do it."
The London Fire Brigade confirmed they were called to Lambeth Bridge at 8.43pm on Friday to assist the Met Police.
Lambeth Borough Commander Richard Wood said: “I would like to thank everyone who assisted in the rescue of a distressed young woman from Lambeth Bridge.
“Several members of the public showed remarkable courage, risking their own safety to save her as she came perilously close to falling.
“The London Fire Brigade and my own officers also did an exceptional job in difficult circumstances.”
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
Source : Evening Standard
Editorial comment :
It's easy to sit back and do nothing, it's what most people do.
To do what Steve did, takes extraordinary courage and yet I bet, he never gave it a second thought.
That's what hero's do
And make no mistake, Steve is a hero.
Well done Steve, let's hope this troubled sole gets the help she needs and carries on living a life you helped give her back.
Extra Comment from @Lennythepen:
Despite huge efforts by TfL to blur the lines. There is still a 'Two-Tier System' in London.
Taxis vs UberPH
#GoldStandard vs #Substandard