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Article posted: 10/12/2012 8:13 AM

Des Plaines resident earns medal for preventing suicide

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Des Plaines city officials recently awarded a Citizen's Service Medal to resident Jennifer Causey for preventing a woman from committing suicide off the Interstate 90 overpass at Elmhurst Road.

At 10:16 a.m. Aug. 23, Causey was exiting the tollway at Elmhurst when she saw a woman standing on the overpass bridge.

"The woman had one end of a rope tied around her neck and was in the process of tying the other end to the guardrail in an apparent attempt to jump off the bridge and commit suicide," Police Chief William Kushner said during the Oct. 1 City Council meeting when he presented Causey with the award.

Causey pulled over to the side of the road, got out of her car and attempted to dissuade the woman from jumping, he added.

"She engaged the woman in conversation and after a short time was successful in convincing her to untie the rope and walk off the overpass onto safer ground," Kushner said.

Causey called 911 and stayed with the woman until emergency personnel arrived. Police later discovered the woman had a lengthy history of mental illness and was on route to a mental health center when she attempted suicide out of despair, Kushner said.

"Jennifer's unselfish and heroic action saved the woman's life, prevented a possible tragedy on I-90 from occurring had the woman actually jumped," Kushner said. "Her involvement went above and beyond that of a concerned citizen and demonstrated a level of compassion and kindness to which all others should aspire."

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