A man from Lincolnshire has been given an award by police for his bravery after saving a teenage boy’s life as he talked him down from the edge of a bridge during lockdown.
Matthew Taylor, from Welbourn, was riding his bike home from work in Fulbeck when he saw a young man on the outside of the protective barriers of a bridge over the A17 on July 29, 2020.
He immediately became concerned and approached the boy to engage in conversation with him. After a while he managed to coax the boy to safety and chatted with him a bit more until the young man said he was okay to travel home.
The incident happened during national coronavirus lockdown while the streets were quiet, meaning there was a limited number of passers-by who could help the distressed boy.
Matthew said that the barriers were high enough to prevent someone falling over the side, meaning that him being stood on the wrong side could only have been intentional.
He told Lincolnshire Police: “I knew that there wouldn’t be anyone coming past who would see him because of the location, and I just felt that I had to stop.
“I said, ‘Hey, you don’t want to be on that side, come on let’s talk’, and eventually he came back to the safe side and sat with me. We talked for a while, and eventually he was okay and took his own bike home.
“I was able to track down his mum and called her to let her know what had happened, which was a difficult call to make.”
Later that day Matthew was contacted by the boy’s mother and father, who said they were eternally grateful for his act of kindness.
He was nominated for an award with the police and has been awarded the Area Commander’s Certificate of Commendation, given to members of the public who show courage and bravery.
The award was presented at the police’s Blue Lights Campus on South Park in Lincoln this week. Matthew was present with his wife and children and was presented with a certificate as well as a police mascot cuddly toy dog.
Chief Superintendent Jon McAdam said: “This award is in recognition of Matthew’s outstanding humanity and public spirit whilst cycling home from work.
“Matthew observed a young man standing on the wrong side of the barrier of a bridge spanning the A17. He stopped at the scene in order to engage with the vulnerable individual and successfully persuaded the teenager to move to safety. Matthew then took it upon himself to make contact with the parents in order to alert them to the incident.
“His intervention meant that the situation didn’t escalate into one which needed the police or other emergency services. Without his intervention, this could have been a very different outcome.”