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Police describe Lincoln officer's perilous effort to save man who jumped from bridge over I-180
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Police describe Lincoln officer's perilous effort to save man who jumped from bridge over I-180


Lincoln police described an officer's perilous effort to help a 39-year-old man Tuesday night after the man jumped from the Superior Street bridge onto Interstate 180 below. 

Officer Erin Spilker said the officer, who had been driving over the Superior Street bridge moments before the man jumped, noticed him walking and looked back to see him prop a leg up on the bridge, then disappear.

It happened just before 10 p.m.

Spilker said the officer parked his car and ran down the embankment to I-180 with his flashlight, found the man critically injured in the road and waved oncoming traffic around him in the dark until cruisers could get to the scene and block off traffic.

By then, several cars had nearly hit the injured man before the officer could tend to him, Spilker said. Officers rendered first aid until Lincoln Fire & Rescue arrived and took over rescue efforts.

She said the man was taken to a Lincoln hospital in critical condition. 

Spilker said anyone in need of help can call CenterPointe's 24-hour crisis line at 402-475-6695, Mental Health Association Keya House Warm Line at 402-261-5959 or the Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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