Wood County deputies to be honored for saving man’s life

PARKERSBURG — Two Wood County sheriff’s deputies are being commended for their actions in saving the life of a potential jumper earlier this week.

Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens will be presenting a “Lifesaving Award” to Senior Deputy Charlie Frazier and Deputy Tim Allen for the actions they took on Wednesday, Feb. 28, that are believed to have saved the life of a man they believed was going to jump off the I-77 overpass at U.S. 50.

On Wednesday around 9:19 a.m. Wood County deputies were dispatched to the I-77 overpass at U.S. 50 in reference to a white male acting suspicious by looking over the top of the guardrail and support wall of the bridge and down onto U.S. 50, according to a press release from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Frazier was first on scene and located the man standing just off the south end of the bridge, the sheriff’s department reported.

When Frazier began to approach the individual, he started walking by back pedaling onto the bridge and would not let Frazier advance on him. Heavy traffic continued to drive by the individual at interstate speeds so communication was difficult between the two, officials said.

“After about a minute, the individual responded to inquiries as Deputy Frazier tried to determine his identity and his reason to be on the bridge,” the sheriff said. “The subject continued back pedaling and at one point threw his wallet down and told Deputy Frazier that he could find the person to contact and his address when this was over.”

As the subject would look around, Frazier would advance his position closer to him, but the individual continued to back pedal and went into the traffic lane of the interstate, Stephens said.

The individual kept looking down at U.S. 50 below the bridge and observed Deputy Tim Allen had arrived.

Traffic was stopped on U.S. 50 as a precaution in case the individual was able to jump off the bridge, Stephens said.

As the subject drew his attention to U.S. 50, Frazier was able to close ground on him.

“Then came a point that Deputy Frazier felt he needed to rush the individual because he was again standing in the roadway,” Stephens said. “When Deputy Frazier took off running, the subject ran and once again gained a hold onto the wall and was climbing onto the guardrail in an effort to jump over onto Route 50.

“Deputy Frazier ran towards the subject and got him in a bear hug to prevent him from climbing further. The individual had his hands locked onto the guardrail and would not release them.”

As Frazier maintained control of the subject, Allen ran from down on U.S. 50 to assist in securing the individual.

Once he was secured, another cruiser arrived and took custody of the subject. The individual was transported to a facility for treatment, Stephens said.

The individual’s name has not been released.

“In my mind, I believe the meritorious actions of Senior Deputy Charlie Frazier and Deputy Tim Allen saved this individual’s life,” Stephens said. “In the near future, they will be publicly recognized with a ‘Lifesaving Award’ from our department.

“As sheriff, I realize that the men and women of our department do amazing things every day for the citizens of Wood County. But let me put it in perspective for you. When I spoke to these two deputies, they were very humble. Deputy Frazier said, ‘It’s no big deal, boss … it’s what we do … seriously, no big deal.’ Well, guys … it is a big deal and I am very proud of your actions and the job all our deputies do every day,” Stephens said.