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Good samaritans help girl in bridge parapet drama
A GOOD samaritan has told of how he tried to stop a teenager from jumping from the parapet of a bridge while he was on holiday in the South of France.
Julian Rudd, head of economy at Ryedale District Council and an organiser of York Pride, was driving over a bridge in Avignon with his cousin Sarah Vaseli and her husband, George, when they saw a girl on the parapet.
As they neared her they realised she appeared to be about to jump into the River Rhone below. Mr Rudd said a few other people also stopped their cars but the girl, a 17-year-old from Slovenia, spoke very little French and could only communicate to them in English.
Mr Rudd said: “It was desperate. My cousin’s husband had his arm around her calf.
“It was a matter or trying to talk to her about how although life can seem like there’s no way forward and everything is terribly wrong you can get to stages where your situation can seem very diffferent.
“We tried to ask her about life in Slovenia and what was happening there.”
He said they spoke to the girl on the bridge near to the famous Pont d’Avignon for “what felt like half-an-hour, but was probably five minutes” until the police arrived and quickly pulled her down from the ledge.
“I just hope that after that happened she was treated with a lot of care,” Mr Rudd said.
“It was a cry for help. Hopefully we showed there was some support and compassion that exists even when people don’t know each other.”
Anyone experiencing feelings of depression and contemplating suicide can phone York Samaritans on 01904 655888.