Trucker stops Van Stadens Bridge suicide

2012-10-11 08:25

Port Elizabeth - A truck driver has told how he saw a man get out of a car at the Van Stadens River Bridge at 02:00 in the morning and realised the man wanted to commit suicide.

“A very pale man got out. I realised he was going to jump,” said Harry Vermaak after seeing the man’s car in the emergency lane, reported the TimesLive.

Vermaak told the TimesLive how he talked to the man about many things, including his children.

“I kept on telling him that every child needs a father.”

The man gave him a letter to give to his family and while they were talking, the man’s cellphone rang.

He handed it to Vermaak, who then spoke to the man’s daughter.

“I told her that her father was standing on the bridge and wanted to jump. She started crying and put her mother on the phone but the man then started walking."

Vermaak grabbed the man’s arm and called the police. He said he would drive the man to the police station.

At the police station he called the man’s family to come and fetch him.

  • kala.bafazi - 2012-10-11 08:37

    The way the headline reads I thought the bridge was suffering from depression:) I have always wondered about the merits of stopping someone from committing suicide. They end up doing it at a later date anyway. I have been through it with a friend who ended up shooting himself a month after I convinced him otherwise.

      desertratbkf - 2012-10-11 08:44

      Must admit, I had to read the headline twice aswell! :-) But yes, a sad situation.

      mgambe - 2012-10-11 09:47

      Lol! Very true. You made my day

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-11 11:02

      What a great friend you turned out to be. (Now I'm being facetious).

  • melanie.gardner.7528 - 2012-10-11 08:46

    Dude you get to live another day. You are one very lucky man. I am so sorry that you are so down, and i can only hope that life will get better for you, for your sake and that of the people that love you.

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-10-11 08:55

      lets really hope so, because if he continues to be miserable, we know the end.

  • Bokrichard - 2012-10-11 08:48

    Ouch kala.bafazi. What a negative aproach. Sorry for your friend but I do not think you sounded very convincing being in doubt whether it has merit to try stopping someone from suicide.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-10-11 08:59

      Bohrichard, in my opinion people who commit suicide are extremely selfish. Their death most often leave family and friends traumatised. Can you imagine if this person had succeded in killing himself, how his wife and daughter would feel.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-10-11 09:57

      Mickey my ex wife suffers from Bipolar disorder. I know plenty about depression. Her father suffered from Biplor disorder. I have dealt pretty extensively with depression.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-10-11 13:48

      Mickey - Ex wife. I understaood plenty what she was going through. In these cases if the patient takes the medication as required then they can lead pretty normal lives. The medication is available for free from state hospitals. Some people find excuses not to take it though. If the patient misses even one day of medication then the whole process has to start again. So don't judge others without knowing all the facts.

      jay.kganyago.5 - 2012-10-11 17:19

      @kala "in my opinion people who commit suicide are extremely selfish" With friends like you no wonder he commit suicide.

  • MaZJalavu - 2012-10-11 08:52

    My hero trucker! - 2012-10-11 09:07

      He is obviously not one of the striking truckers!! See there ARE some good truckers around!! Well done my man!!

  • MaZJalavu - 2012-10-11 08:53

    My hero trucker!

  • nixstix - 2012-10-11 08:54

    Indeed, every child needs his/her father. Hope he gets the help he needs.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-11 08:57

    Harry Vermaak you are a hero stopping at 2am to help someone in desperate need is not something too many people would do due to so much crime and hijackings!! You saved a man from death and reunited him with his family. I hope he gets the help and support he needs depression is a terrible thing!!

      cathy.g.ingram - 2012-10-11 10:18

      And I hope Harry will get some counselling if he needs it. Quite a traumatic experience for him too. You will be blessed Harry.

  • NEHEMIAHcapetown - 2012-10-11 09:00

    God bless Harry Vermaak..!

  • CHRISTOS52 - 2012-10-11 09:01

    Hero of the month .

  • tafkad.tafkad - 2012-10-11 09:04

    The cover picture is of Bloukrans Bridge, not Van Stadens

      tafkad.tafkad - 2012-10-11 09:33

      what's with the 'thumbs-down'? I jumped Bloukrans last month - just highlighting poor reporting.

      sagin.verity - 2012-10-11 11:46

      You are right Tafkad. Poor Journalism. Dont worry about the thumbs down, many many idiots share this forum.

  • lucious.bodibe - 2012-10-11 09:07

    give that man a bells

  • caine.abel.75 - 2012-10-11 09:15

    life nowadays is sad an depressing at times we gotta be strong and make the best the hand we are dealt

  • Mohale John Tsolo - 2012-10-11 09:23

    many people took their live @ that bridge and their cameras there for immediately respond, so where was this respond? but anyway thank you for saving this guy life.

  • Hemlock - 2012-10-11 09:26

    Hats off to this truck driver who had the will to help his fellow man. Nice one. Give this man a whole bottle of bells but not when he's driving ;o)

  • retief.devilliers - 2012-10-11 09:36

    Well done, truck drivers can really do with some positive spin at the moment!

  • desmond.joshua2 - 2012-10-11 09:37

    you are an angel for saving the man's life.good on you.go well.

  • chris.swart.12 - 2012-10-11 09:57

    What a rookie mistake!!! Who's the poor person who wrote this report? That is Bloukranz River Bridge on the phote and NOT Van Stadens's so obvious to see...shame...what an embarresment!!!

      chris.swart.12 - 2012-10-11 11:29

      Dude, do your home work and check what bridge photo the rookie reporter put's Bloukranz Bridge and NOT Van Stadens Bridge...yes I know this report is about the famous suicide bridge Van Stadens Bridge, BUT they put the wrong bridge photo up in this report...I've bungeed of Bloukranz and could see the first moment that it was not Van wake up and smell the coffee!!!

      mzuvukile.maswana - 2012-10-12 04:50

      Geez who gives a crap about what bridge it is on the journo picture? The fact of the matter is that a family was saved of going through arranging a funeral of a loved one. Get a life boet.

  • kyle.naidoo.5011 - 2012-10-11 10:24

    @ Mokoena.JOB Take your self rigthous attitude and seek redemption elsewhere. We truly do not know why this man did what he did , life is tough in SA. to all those people who will come back and say there are many people suffering , and they dont resort to this , we have not walked in these shoes .

  • elsje.botha - 2012-10-11 12:18

    Well done to the trucker. What extremely poor writing from the journalist. Pretty embarrassing really.

  • melinda.walraven - 2012-10-11 12:20

    I don't think the emphasis should be on the suicidal man - it should be on he man who saved him. The man who saw another's misery and went out of his way to help. Bravo to Harry Vermaak. You are a remarkable human being!

  • siphiwo.maurice - 2012-10-11 16:16

    Bravery , compassion and love of life. What a hero!!!!!! We thank you.

  • edgar.johnson.353 - 2012-10-11 18:30

    The truck driver's a hero but it takes guts for someone to take their lives.Depression can drive you but to actually do it is not a cowards way out unless you are in that mans shoes, don't judge.It's not the easy way out sometimes it seems like the ONLY way out. We don't know the man's problems.

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