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CHP officers get award for saving woman dangling from overpass

CHP officers Kerry Comphel and Jason Hughes received Medal of Valor awards for rescuing a suicidal woman who tried to jump from an overpass in 2016.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Two California Highway Patrol officers received Medal of Valor awards Tuesday for rescuing a suicidal woman who tried to jump from an overpass last year.

Emergency operators received a call on April 26, 2016, reporting a suicidal woman walking on Interstate 5 near Carlsbad Village Drive.

Officers Kerry Comphel and Jason Hughes responded to the call and saw the woman walking on the side of the freeway.

As they approached, she turned and climbed over the guardrail. The officers ran to save the woman. Each grabbed one of her arms as she attempted to jump off the overpass. The men were able to pull the dangling woman from the bridge and prevent her from plunging into traffic.

Cellphone video shows the woman dangling by her arms in front of a freeway sign directing traffic to the northbound onramp to I-5.

The woman was taken to Tri-City Hospital, where she was admitted for psychiatric observation.

Officers Comphel and Hughes were among 22 state employees to receive the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award for acts of heroism on Tuesday. The Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor the state can give it’s employees.