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AFA cadet recognized for saving Colorado Springs man's life

Air Force Cadet saves suicidal man

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet 3rd Class Jack Bell was driving south on Interstate 25 last month when he noticed something unusual near the ledge of the Interquest Parkway overpass.

Bell pulled over to the shoulder and noticed it was a man standing near the ledge, and he quickly called 911 to ask for assistance before approaching him.

"I could tell this guy wasn't doing okay and something wasn't right," Bell said in a report by the Academy. "I was just shocked by how many people drove by like nothing was wrong."

Bell spoke to the man and tried to get him to step down from the edge of the overpass.

For 15 minutes, Bell and the man spoke and connected over faith before the man came down from the bridge.

"I asked him, 'What do you plan on doing up here?' That's when he kind of snapped out of it and realized what he was doing and got very emotional. He mentioned something about God and I saw that as an opportunity to use faith to connect with him," Bell said.

First responders arrived at the scene to find the man walking with Bell up the street.

Bell said he learned the man had a wife and two kids, but planned on jumping in front of a semi-truck before the conversation started.

"I am so grateful that he was able to return safely to his family and get the help he needed," Bell said.

Bell credits his training at the Air Force Academy and his parents for giving him the belief to help a fellow person in a time of need, but it also goes deeper than that. Bell says he lost one of his family members to suicide, "There have been times in my own immediate family in the past when there has been someone on the edge and we just drove right by them and I didn't want to do that night."

And get this: just a few days prior, Bell and his sister were flying through the skies of Northern California when they helped first responders locate another plane that had gone down in the area. The pilot in that crash survived.

Clearly, Bell has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.


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