Trooper earns lifesaving award for saving man

An Oregon State Police trooper was recognized with a lifesaving award, after he grabbed ahold of a suicidal man who was jumping off a bridge on the Oregon coast.

Trooper Adam Kowing was awarded the Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award from OSP Superintendent Richard Evans last week in McMinnville.

Authorities say that in July of last year, Kowing was working out of the Newport office when he responded to assist with a report of a man who said he was going to kill himself by jumping off the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport.

After the man had eluded police in his car, Trooper Kowing waited by the bridge to try to keep the man from driving over it.

Authorities say Kowing spotted suspect's car and pulled in behind him, and the man slammed on his brakes in the middle of the bridge.

He took off running to the edge and tried to jump, but Trooper Kowing grabbed him around the waist and pulled him back over the rail. Authorities say the man fought with Kowing before being taken into custody.

Evans said Kowings actions saved a life that day, and spoke about his character. "Adam's quick and selfless reaction during a life-threatening situation ultimately saved this man's life, and is a testament to the measure and strength of his character," said Evans.

The Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award is named after Lieutenant Harold R. Berg, who died on May 10, 1975. Berg, while off duty, was contacted by a citizen who informed him that a boy scout was missing at Cape Lookout State Park. While attempting to search a cave near the water's edge, he was washed out to sea.

The award is given to State Police employees who distinguish themselves by performing or reacting to a situation in a positive and professional manner which saves, or reduces the risk of loss of life of another person; and, where a strong possibility existed that if such action wasn't taken, loss of life or serious injury would have resulted.