On any given day, traffic cruises across the Maple Avenue bridge in Redmond in routine fashion. But Monday night, well after sunset, the 70-foot-high span was the scene of a dramatic rescue, recounted to us Wednesday by two men who battled to prevent a third stranger from jumping, but are uncomfortable with the term hero -- as so many heroes are.
"I am not a hero," said Shane Dismore. "I'm just a guy who helped someone else out. I'm just that person who happened to be there."
Dismore was on his way home from work Monday night when he saw a man sitting on the bridge railing. He turned his car around, got out and headed towards him.
"I was just walking quickly and tried to remain calm," said Dismore, "I just walked up to him and said, 'Hey, are you doing okay?' and he just said, 'No,' and we started talking."
At the same time, nearby resident James Casner, who had talked to the man a short time earlier, was making his way to the bridge.The man had told Casner he was not happy with life, and was planning to jump off the structure.
As the two tried to convince the man to come down, he was trying to convince them to let him go.
"He told me he was going to land on his feet and and everything was going to be fine," said Casner, "You know, I told him, 'You know, it's not going to happen that way.'"
On the bridge high above the Dry Canyon, the man moved closer and closer to making the potentially fatal jump.
"There was actually one point I was afraid we were going to lose him," said Dismore, "He said, 'Okay, I'll come back over,' and he started to come back over. James let go, and he leaped! So now I'm holding him, and he's hanging off the edge, and me and James are trying to pull him back up."
For what seemed like a half an hour or so, the two men held on, trying to save someone they didn't even know.
"He just looked up at us and said, 'Guys it's okay - just let go." said Dismore. "He was so calm about it. But I knew that I can't afford to let him go -- it's not worth it. It's not worth it for him, it's not worth it for us."
"The only thing that was keeping him from falling was our hands on his arms," said Casner. "His body wasn't touching the bridge at all. His feet were below the bridge."
"He's hanging off the edge, and me and James are trying to pull him back up," Dismore said. "And he's just screaming, 'Let me go guys -- if you love me, you'll let me go.'"
Dangling off the side of the bridge, Dismore and Casner held on until two Redmond police officers showed up and helped pull the man to safety. He was taken to St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond for observation.
"It was kind of a wake-up call for me," said Dismore, "to just be able to see what someone's life can be like, if no one is there to care for them and talk with them about it."
But apparently, the moment of crisis had a positive outcome. A family member posted a thank-you note from the man to his rescuers on KTVZ.COM's first story about the rescue Wednesday morning -- and Casner replied. You can read those comments and more about the fateful night in our earlier story.