St Albans heroes who stopped man from rail bridge jump set to receive awards

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 March 2015

A man was saved from jumping onto a rail line

A man was saved from jumping onto a rail line

Archant

Three heroic St Albans men who came to the rescue of a suicidal man hurling himself off a city railway bridge are set to receive national life-saving awards for their courage.

Michael Brand, 26, of Elm Drive, Daniel Smallcorn, 28 of Ashley Road and James Stannard, 33, of Beechwood Avenue, will be receive bravery awards from the Royal Humane Society, after saving a man from falling 10 metres onto an electrified rail line last year.

The society’s secretary, Dick Wilkinson, said: “This rescue must have resembled something out of an action movie.

“They just grabbed the man’s ankles in the nick of time and saved him from plummeting to his death.

“They were the right people in the right place at the right time and richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”

The incident took place at the King William crossroads and Railway Bridge in Beech Road in St Albans in the early hours of September 5 2014.

The three men were in a car and spotted a man sitting in the middle of the road on a suitcase.

They stopped and Mr Stannard asked him what he was doing, to which the man replied that he wanted to be left alone and wanted to die.

Thinking it was a prank, Mr Stannard told him they would be back shortly and if he was still there they would move him.

When they returned he was still there, so Daniel Smallcorn positioned the car to protect him while Mr Stannard talked to him for around half an hour, eventually persuading him to go to the pavement.

Once he was convinced the man was longer at risk, he turned to go to the car but Mr Brand shouted a warning and he turned to see the man using a road name sign as a stepping stone to fling himself over the bridge parapet.

Mr Wilkinson said: “He rushed forward and managed to the grab the man’s leg just as he was about to disappear completely over the wall.

“He was joined by Michael Brand who grabbed the other leg and between them they managed to haul him back to safety.”

Police were called and the three men held the man until they arrived.

No date has yet been set for the awards presentation.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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