Caught on camera: Oconee County deputies stop suspect from jumping

Image 1 of 14

Some quick action on the part of a trio of Oconee County deputies is being credited for saving the life of a man.

The dramatic rescue was recorded on body cam when the deputies pulled the man back from jumping off a bridge on Highway 10 Loop Overpass which likely would have killed him.

It started with a call about a reckless driver on the bridge over the Middle Oconee River.

The body cam shows a deputy trying to arrest a man on when the man bolts for the edge of the bridge.

“Alright, sir, if you would turn around and put your hands behind your back, no, no,” said Deputy Jamison Elder as he and two other deputies are struggling with the man.

It was a moment the trio will not soon forget.

“I’m glad we were there to do what we did to save him. He said it was the end of his world but I hope he comes to realize that it’s not,” said Deputy Elder.

Deputies Jamison Elder and Quinton NeeSmith and another deputy responded to the bridge on late Saturday night.

After a series of field sobriety tests it was determined the man would be arrested for DUI. But as that was about to happen, the 57-year-old man decided to bolt over the concrete edge of the bridge with the middle Oconee River far below.

“It would have took us a long time to get to him if he would have fell off,” Deputy NeeSmith said explaining he didn’t think the man would have made it.

On body cam, the deputies are heard talking about the life or death situation they had just encountered which also involved another incident.

“We has him pinned against his suburban and as traffic was coming by he tried to dart out into traffic and get hit by a car,” said Deputy Elder.

The man was arrested and taken to jail for DUI after the double life saving efforts by the trio of deputies.

“It feels good I’m really glad all three of us were there. I think without all three of us it’d be difficult to get him back over this side of the bridge,” said Deputy NeeSmith.

The man arrested bonded out of jail to face the consequences of DUI which according to the deputies who saved him can’t be worse than if he’d gone over the bridge.