Man Reaches Out To Another Looking To Die

Wednesday, January 16th 2008, 3:17 pm
By: News On 6

A suicidal man didn't go unnoticed as he prepared to jump from a bridge over the Arkansas River. A man on his way to drop off his children at school decided to turn around and try to help. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports Ben Key doesn't consider himself a hero, but maybe a good Samaritan.

"The world would be better if everybody kind of looked out for one another and helped," said rescuer Ben Key.

Key was crossing the 71st Street Bridge Monday morning when he saw a man standing outside the fence.

"He was looking down, and I thought that doesn't look good," said rescuer Ben Key.

On Monday morning, 71st Street was busy and a lot of people were passing by and probably saw the man on the rail. Ben said he knew he had to do something, so he did a U-Turn at 71st and Riverside and came back halfway down the bridge and stopped so he could talk to the man who was on the other side of this fence.

"I was able to climb over the concrete guardrail and lean against the fence and talk to him," said rescuer Ben Key.

Key can't remember what they talked about, but it ended with an offer of a cup of coffee.

"When he decided he would go, I went over there to help him because there wasn't much room to stand and he needed to turn around so I put my arms underneath his because I was thinking, if he's decided to climb back over, I would hate for it to turn into an accident," said rescuer Ben Key.

Key started driving the man to his church, Victory Christian, for help, but by then, the police were showing up, so he pulled over at Kinko's where the man was met by an ambulance. Looking back on it, Key figures God put him on that bridge at just the right moment.

"I think I have compassion on people because my life was a wreck before and now I've given my life to Jesus and he's turned things around for me," said rescuer Ben Key.

The suicidal man is 41 years old. EMSA reports he was taken to the hospital in fair condition because, according to Key, he had already cut his wrists.