January 9, 2013
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph link valid 30 days - Left to right: Superintendent Evans and Trooper Kowing
Oregon State Police (OSP) Superintendent Richard Evans recognized the lifesaving effort of an OSP trooper in preventing a suicidal man from jumping off a Newport area bridge last summer with the presentation of the Department's "Harold R. Berg Lifesaving Award". The award was presented Wednesday to Trooper Adam Kowing at the OSP McMinnville Area Command office were he recently transferred from the Newport Area Command office.
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.
"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.
Kowing, age 25, has worked for OSP for more than four years.