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2 passersby credited with saving distraught woman's life

An Olean Police Department car against a sunset.
Olean Police Department

Two passersby are being credited with saving the life of a woman who had jumped from the East State Street Bridge into Olean Creek.

It happened around 9:15 a.m. Monday. A passing motorist spotted the woman sitting on the bridge railing and called 911 because she needed help. But she jumped off the bridge while he was on the phone.

A second passerby, who was walking his dog on the west shore of the creek, jumped into the cold water to rescue the woman. The two men were able to walk the victim to an ambulance, which had arrived at the scene, and paramedics began treating her for hypothermia and traumatic injuries before taking her to Olean General Hospital.

The man who jumped into the creek was evaluated at the scene, but he declined medical care. He was transported to his home so he could warm up.

In a release, the City of Olean Fire and Police Departments publicly thanked the two rescuers, calling them heroes.