Two women honored for stopping a woman from jumping off a bridge

PITTSBURGH — An unplanned detour put a mother and daughter from West Mifflin on the Homestead Grays Bridge last month, and ultimately led to them saving the life of a stranger.

Tanikka Pinnix and Layla Gooden saw a woman in distress, not wearing a coat, with one leg over the bridge railing, on the morning of Jan. 28. They pulled over, calmly spoke to the woman and convinced her to climb down.

On Wednesday in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich proclaimed today be named in their honor, recognizing them as outstanding citizens who undoubtedly prevented a tragedy through their kindness.

“I have responded to well over a dozen of these types of incidents and most don’t turn out well for the victim,” Hissrich said. “It is comforting to know that by your work, that this one, this incident, even though it was a personal tragedy for the individual, that stranger that you saved continues to be able to live today and receive the help that she needs.”

EMS District Chief Justin Sypolt honored the women and thanked them on behalf of the Public Safety and EMS bureaus.

“I know that on that day you probably didn’t wake up thinking that today’s the day I’m going to change the world, but due to a series of unpredictable events, change the world you did,” Sypolt said. “Because of what you did that day, another person is walking amongst us. I am incredibly grateful to have been there with you both that day, and to be with you now.”

Pinnix said she would never have just kept driving once she saw the woman on the side of the bridge.

“We should remember the greatest commandment of all, which is to love one another,” she said. “And when I saw the woman on the bridge that day, I saw my own child. I felt every emotion as though that were my own flesh and blood.”

If you need help, call the National Suicide Hotline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.