A Federal Express driver in Rogersville, Tennessee, reportedly saved a woman’s life on Tuesday after she allegedly made a suicide attempt off of a local bridge.
Garrett Nicholson, 42, held the arm of a 54-year-old woman dangling over the Marble Hall Road bridge for five minutes until officers from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office could help pull her to safety, the Kingsport Times News reported.
Nicholson said he first saw the woman — whose identity has not been released — when he was driving past the bridge shortly before 6.p.m. local time that day, according to the newspaper. Her claimed her car was abandoned in the middle of the road and she was sitting on the edge of the structure nearly 40 feet above Caney Creek’s rocky water bed.
Concerned, Nicholson said he stopped his car and approached the woman, asking her if she was okay. When she allegedly said she was considering suicide, he blocked traffic with his car and slowly came closer to her, attempting to “talk her down.”
“I got within arm’s reach, because she wasn’t listening or anything,” Nicholson recalled to the Kingsport Times News. “She seemed pretty out of it.”
As she “lurched forward (to jump),” Nicholson “was able to grab her by the arm,” he told the Kingsport Times News. He remained like that for five minutes until Hamilton County Sheriff’s office Cpl. Mark Harrell showed up to help.
According to the Citizen Tribune, another man on the scene — David Reed — also said he helped Nicholson hold up the woman.
Representatives from FedEx and the HCSO did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but officers told the Kingsport Times News that the woman was later handcuffed and taken for an emergency committal and mental evaluation.
“I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to hold her,” Nicholson told the Kingsport Times News. “Fortunately, where I work at FedEx, I load boxes all day, and you kind of get used to holding on to heavy things. I was just really scared that she was going to fall, and it was kind of one of those things that you just keep praying to God for strength to keep holding her until someone arrived to help me.”
“She just went dead weight and was dangling off the side of the bridge,” he claimed to the Kingsport Times News. “It seemed like it was hours, but it was maybe five minutes.”
The Citizen Tribune also reported that Nicholson was once a first responder in Phoenix.
Caney Creek did not have enough water in it to break the woman’s fall, Nicholson said to the Kingsport Times News. “The water level was down,” he explained to the Kingsport Times News. “If she would have jumped, she’d have probably hit ground. She’d have landed in water and hit the rocks too because there wasn’t enough water to break her fall.”
Nicholson said that the entire experience reminded him of the important things in life.
“Don’t take life for granted. Be more appreciative of what you’ve got,” he said, when asked by the Kingsport Times News what he took away from the experience.
“There’s no problem in this life that is worth suicide,” Nicholson said to the outlet. “Problems are temporary. That’s permanent and nothing is that bad. I don’t know what darkness she was going through that made jumping the better alternative. I just hope it gets better for her. I hope she gets help.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.