LINCOLN CITY - An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper from the Newport Area Command office was honored Friday night by the Oregon Peace Officers Association (OPOA) with a special award recognizing his lifesaving effort in July 2012 to prevent a suicidal man from jumping off a Newport area bridge.
The OPOA held its annual Awards Banquet November 16, 2012 at Spirit Mountain Casino and announced the presentation of special awards to several individuals. One of the awards, the OPOA "Medal of Valor" award, was presented to OSP Trooper Adam Kowing. The OPOA "Medal of Valor" may be awarded to individuals who, while serving in an official capacity with their law enforcement agency, distinguish themselves by reacting to a situation in a positive and professional manner, thereby reducing the risk of loss of life or injury to citizens.
On July 4, 2012, Newport Police Department (NPD) received a report of a suicidal man who told a friend that he wanted to commit suicide by jumping off the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. After an attempt to locate was broadcast to local agencies, NPD spotted the man's vehicle and attempted to stop it. The man attempted to elude the NPD officers in heavy holiday traffic causing officers to terminate and back off. Other area agencies saw the vehicle in Waldport where the man turned his vehicle around and proceeded northbound back toward Newport.
Trooper Kowing monitored radio traffic and positioned his patrol vehicle near the Yaquina Bay Bridge in a visible spot to discourage the man from accessing the bridge. After the man passed by, Trooper Kowing got behind the vehicle and followed it across the bridge until the man suddenly slammed on his brakes causing the OSP patrol vehicle to rear-end his vehicle. The man then got out and ran toward the bridge railing with Trooper Kowing running behind him. As the man reached the railing and began to step over the edge, Trooper Kowing grabbed his waist and pulled him back onto the pavement before he fell over a hundred feet down below. The man fought with Trooper Kowing before he was restrained with the help of NPD officers preventing him from jumping to his death.
"Trooper Kowing's decisiveness and quick actions saved this man from certain death if he had jumped from the bridge," said OSP Sergeant Cari Boyd from the Newport Area Command office.
Trooper Kowing, 25, has worked for OSP for four years.