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Players on WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings deescalate potential suicide attempt

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The heroism of Brandon Wheat Kings players Calder Anderson, Nolan Ritchie, Jake Chiasson and Ben Thornton helped save a life.  (Photo by Marissa Baker/Getty Images)
The heroism of Brandon Wheat Kings players Calder Anderson, Nolan Ritchie, Jake Chiasson and Ben Thornton helped save a life. (Photo by Marissa Baker/Getty Images)

After volunteering at a local food bank Tuesday, Brandon, Man, natives Calder Anderson and Nolan Ritchie decided to show off their city to Wheat Kings teammates Jake Chiasson and Ben Thornton. As they drove, the group spotted a man standing next to a lamppost between the north and south bridges.

“The other guys in the car told me to turn around and we drove back, heading north across the bridge,” Richie recalled. . “He was sitting there and pointing at us and we were like, ‘That’s a little weird.’

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Shortly after this discovery, Richie turned around and stopped about 20 feet from the man on the bridge. Upon arrival, Anderson rolled down the car window to ask how he was feeling and quickly realized that he was in trouble.

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“I got out of the car and asked him if he was okay,” Anderson said. “He informed me that things were not going well for him and that he had some pretty bad thoughts, so I asked him if we could get help and he agreed.

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“I think the most important thing in this situation is just to ask the person if they need help, and once I asked, you could see the relief on his face, knowing that there is someone who will take care of him.”

While this was cleared up, Chiasson took action and dialed 911 on his phone from the car, informing the emergency services of the situation. Luckily, the authorities were only five minutes away from their location.

Before they arrived, another man stopped on the bridge and tried to help defuse the delicate situation. But this did not reduce the stress that the players were experiencing at that moment.

“Life kind of freezes for these couple of minutes,” Chiasson said. “You have a bit of adrenaline and it’s a situation you were never taught to be in. It’s just that what comes out from the inside is how you deal with it.”

Even with help along the way, players endured many heartbreaking moments with a man who was only inches away from falling onto the train tracks below. And their hearts started beating even faster every time he changed positions.

“It was scary, some moments,” Anderson said. “He would get up and then your heart would start beating a little faster and things would get a little scarier. I didn’t get too close to him. I didn’t want him to feel more pressure or anxiety than he already felt.”

The police rescued the man shortly after arriving at the scene by lifting him off the ledge to safety. Officials later said he had received treatment and appeared to be doing well.

Brandon Police Sergeant. After that, Bill Brown spoke to reporters, expressing his appreciation for the efforts of the Wheat Kings players. If not for them, the situation could have turned out quite differently.

“These are four young guys who were already at Samaritan House and were still doing community service and no one was actually looking,” Brown said. “They did something supernatural.”

Once it was all over, the players returned to their car and drove home after nearly witnessing a suicide attempt. This resulted in a fairly quiet car ride, although eventually they started to open up.

“I don’t know what I would have done if I had seen him jump off the bridge,” Thornton said. “We are very happy that we were able to save him and help him.”

The team also realized that 30-40 vehicles passed during the incident and none of them stopped to investigate like they did. But they never thought about leaving until the person was safe.

After all, this is a lesson they have learned throughout their lives: everyone needs help sometimes.

“I think that’s what all of our parents and this organization taught,” Chiasson said. “It’s about picking each other up and just taking care of everyone.

“You don’t know what situations people go through. Sometimes all you need is just to get out to help them or talk.”

If there’s one thing the hockey community should take away from this story, it’s that there are good people in this world.

“There is a stereotype that young hockey players are not the best guys,” Anderson said. “I have known these guys for a while and they are all kind and wonderful people. Many people don’t see us off the ice.

“It sucks that something like this has to happen for people to realize that we are better than a lot of people think. We are the same as everyone else, and we will take care of each other.”

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