Train rescue video brings focus to suicide prevention work

Posted: Updated:
PERTH AMBOY -

Video released by Perth Amboy police Tuesday of an officer rescuing a man from an oncoming train is bringing focus to ways to prevent suicide.

Officer Kyle Savoia received a call of a man laying down on some train tracks. The video shows the officer running full speed toward the man, yelling at him to get away. The unidentified man was able to get out of the way, as the train just barely misses him.

The man can be heard on the video crying and thanking the officer profusely.

RELATED: Police officer saves man from being struck by train
MORE: Perth Amboy officer recounts saving man from oncoming train

It wasn’t immediately known why the man was on the tracks or if it was a suicide attempt. But Wendy Sefcik, a New Jersey board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says that people who attempt suicide may not necessarily want to die. They just want their pain to stop.

Sefcik’s 16-year-old son took his own life in 2010.

"In his mind, we know from a note that was left, he really felt that he had become a burden. He was very hopeless,” she says.

But Sefcik says that there is always hope. She says that she sees similarities between the man in Perth Amboy and Kevin Hines, a man who survived a jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

“The second his hand left that bridge, he said, ‘What did I do’” she says.

Hines survived but Sefcik says it could have been stopped way before that.

“He made a deal with himself that if one person cares, just one person asks am I OK, I won't do it,” she says.

Sefcik says that a kind word or gesture toward a stranger can make a difference.

"Just smile at that person that walks past you, it can have a very great impact.  And the research on suicide prevention shows that as well,” she says.

The latest numbers show that one person commits suicide every 13 hours in New Jersey.

The number for the National Suicide Prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255. There is a bill to create a 3-digit number for suicide emergencies, like 911. That bill now sits on President Donald Trump’s desk for approval.

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