Post Updated on Jan. 23
On his way back to Auburn, Doug Bacon crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. He approached a car that had pulled to the shoulder, and watched in amazement as the car’s owner stepped over the bridge’s railing and fell down into waters below.
Bacon, a graduate student in the college of architecture, design and construction, didn’t think twice before he jumped into the chilly waters of the Alabama River after the woman who had just jumped. He handed his phone and wallet off to a man standing nearby, stripped down to his briefs and then dove in after her.
He swam through the river to the woman and wrapped his arms around her. Bacon then turned and started to paddle her to safety.
Traffic backed up on the bridge, and the scene started to grab the attention of those passing through.
Several fishermen witnessed the woman fall from the side of the bridge, but were too far away to offer any immediate help. The fishermen approached the shore roughly the same time as Bacon, and then one man helped Bacon drag the woman ashore.
The energy drained from Bacon as he drug the woman across the muddy riverbank. Emergency officials were quick to the scene, wrapping the woman in warm blankets. She was then airlifted to a hospital in Montgomery to treat her injuries.
It is unknown why the woman, later identified as Opelika resident Priscilla Woods, jumped from the bridge, but had it not been for Bacon and this purely selfless act, then the outcome on that day could have been vastly different.
Bacon was honored with an award of excellence on Tuesday Jan. 22, by Selma Mayor George Evans and members of the Selma City Council.
Read more: The Selma Times Journal