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Arkansas State Police Troopers and the Garland County Sheriff’s Patrol were dispatched to the Highway 7 South Bridges last night to investigate calls from the public stating that a woman was sitting on the ledge of the bridge and that it looked like she was about to jump into the lake.
Arkansas State Police Corporal Brandon Cook arrived at the Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat Parking Lot just as the woman jumped from the bridge. That drop is approximately 100 ft. from the roadway on the bridge to the surface of the water. The outside temperature at the time was only 51°.
Trooper Cook took off his radio, police belt, a few other things (locked them in his trooper car) and ran down the embankment underneath the bridge, located the woman approximately 80 ft. off shore, finished undressing himself and entered the frigid lake wearing nothing but socks and his state trooper issued skivvies.
He was able to get the woman back to shore at a condo complex on Long Island Drive where a LifeNet Ambulance Crew and the EMS Supervisor were waiting to assist. Medics wrapped the 2 swimmers in big towels. ASP Sergeant Joe turned up the heater in his patrol car for Cpl. Cook and LifeNet transported the woman by ambulance to the hospital. They both looked fine other than being cold and wet. Any possible injury is unknown to me.
Sgt. Joe drove Cpl. Cook back to his vehicle which was parked at the Belle of Hot Springs Riverboat Parking Lot. There, they met up with ASP Cpl. Oseguera and GCSO Patrol Deputies Parker & Garrett who were already down, under the bridge gathering up the rest of Cpl. Cook’s uniform pieces.
I am unaware as to why the lady jumped from the bridge.
Jumping off of anything into the lake is very dangerous and in some cases, fatal. There is no telling what could have happened to the woman if the trooper did not go in the lake after her. That was a very brave and selfless thing that Cpl. Cook did last night. Some people call Cpl. Cook K-14. He drives the orange’ish/red “stealth program” trooper car that only has markings on the passenger side. Wave at him when you see him on the highway – he’s a cool cat.