KENNEWICK, Wash. — It was a split second glance.
Davion Campbell, 28, and his sister, Kyliyah Davis, 18, were crossing the cable bridge at 10 p.m. last Sunday on their way home to Pasco when they saw a woman with one leg up on the railing.
He hit the brakes, backed up, and ran from the car that was still parked on the bridge.
“Once I saw her, I didn’t even second guess,” Campbell said. “I just committed to hitting the brakes and backing up.”
As he raced to the edge of the bridge, the woman was already on the other side, and appeared to be working up the courage to step off the concrete ledge that separated her from the frigid Columbia River below.
“I was able to come around and put my hand around one side,” he said. “She was trying to push away from me and she had wanted to go.”
While the fall may have not been fatal, the unnamed woman was committed to killing herself.
Campbell stood holding the woman for the eight to 10 minutes it took for police to arrive, as his sister stood nearby. The woman kept asking him how he could love her, and Campbell told her it was God’s love that motivated him to stand with her.
When she replied that she didn’t think God listened, Campbell said he believed God sent him to her.
Campbell recently moved back to Pasco after living in Seattle for several years. He has medical training and spent time in crisis situations, he said.
“I’m able to handle the pressure,” he said. “And able to take over.”
As they stood there, she tried to get away again, but he was adamant that he didn’t want her to die.
Another person saw the stopped car and called 911. As police arrived, the distraught woman made her way back across the railing to the roadway.
The woman was transported to a hospital where she was held for medical and mental evaluations.
The Kennewick police Facebook post about Davis and Campbell’s efforts went viral. It was shared nearly 400 times, attracted 105 comments and 1,800 reactions.
“Those Good Samaritans saved a life tonight and made a positive difference,” the post read. “We are eternally grateful for their brave act.”
The pair received praise from a majority of the commenters. Many praised them as the woman’s guardian angels, and others noted that they saw what others might have missed.
For Campbell, he hopes people will spend less time obsessed in devices that distance people from each other, and more time talking with other people.
Since the post went viral, people have asked them to speak to groups and talk about the experience.
“It’s just what we need to do as human beings is be someone’s hero, even though we may not feel it,” Campbell said. “You never know what someone’s going through.”
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com