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Hero schoolgirl Hannah Simmons, from Faversham, saves second man's life in 18 months after Canterbury bridge drama

A brave schoolgirl stopped a suicidal man from jumping off a roadside railway bridge – just 18 months after she saved a commuter's life when he collapsed on a train.

Hannah Simmons, 15, bravely stepped when she spotted someone perched on a ledge over the tracks in Rheims Way, Canterbury.

Hannah, of Spillett Close in Faversham, managed to talk him down, but was faced with another challenge when he tried to walk into fast-moving traffic.

Hannah Simmons, 15, prevented a man jumping off the railway bridge on Rheims Way, Canterbury
Hannah Simmons, 15, prevented a man jumping off the railway bridge on Rheims Way, Canterbury

The Barton Court Grammar School pupil said: "I was walking towards the station and I saw this man sitting on the bridge and I could tell straight away something was up.

"I asked him if he was OK and he replied 'no'.

"I started to panic a bit but I knew I couldn’t just leave him.

"I asked him what he was doing there and he said he wanted to kill himself.

"He was agitated, fidgeting a lot and seemed both angry and upset. His eyes were all puffy.

Hannah pictured in her army cadet uniform after the first incident
Hannah pictured in her army cadet uniform after the first incident

"He said he had nobody left and nobody would help him.

"He said he had been robbed a few weeks ago.

"I told him some people did want to help him as that's exactly why I was there."

Hannah sat him down against the wall and called 999 but the man stood up and darted across the pavement towards the road.

"I wanted to help. I don't think that anyone deserves to lose someone to suicide. I think that people should always keep fighting because there is so much to live for..." - Hannah Simmons

She said she grabbed his shoulder as hard as she could and pulled him away.

Hannah added: "I had this rush of adrenaline and was absolutely terrified.

"When the police arrived, I managed to say about two words before bursting into tears.

"They put him into the back of the police car and took him somewhere safe. That was the last time I saw him."

Police confirmed they were called to Rheims Way at 2.15pm last Thursday following reports of concern for a man on the bridge. He was found and taken home.

Hannah said: "My mum was scared when I told her what had happened and she said the man might have hurt me, or anything could have happened but I wasn't thinking like that. I was thinking in the moment, I suppose.

"I wanted to help. I don't think that anyone deserves to lose someone to suicide.

"I think that people should always keep fighting because there is so much to live for.

"Stick in there because someone will come along and make you feel like there is a reason to live."

Hannah Simmons receives her Try Angle Award from former Maidstone footballer Aaron Simpson
Hannah Simmons receives her Try Angle Award from former Maidstone footballer Aaron Simpson

Hannah, who has been with the army cadets in Faversham for three years, hopes to become a nurse or doctor.

She said she would now like to do some fundraising for mental health charities.

But this is not the first time she has saved a life.

She was just 14 in October 2014 when she rushed to a man's aid as he fell to the floor on a train and started gasping for breath, as other passengers looked on.

She placed him in the recovery position and told rail staff not to move him – an order that later proved to be vital as he had a broken rib which had punctured a lung and could have been fatal.

Her bravery earned her a Spirit of Try Angle Award in 2015.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

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