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Tenn. trooper saves man who attempted suicide

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- A man who tried to hang himself off an interstate highway bridge was saved Monday by a police officer who cut the rope, dropping the man 20 feet to the street.

Emergency dispatchers told Sgt. Paul Mooneyham early Monday that callers had reported seeing a man hanging off the side of the bridge along Interstate 81.

Mooneyham, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said that when he found the man, he had a rope tied around his neck. The man jumped when the officer arrived.

Using his pocket knife, the officer cut the rope to let the man fall, then rushed down an embankment to reach him.

"When I got to him, he wasn't breathing, but I got the noose off his neck and shook him," Mooneyham said. "He coughed and started breathing again."

Authorities said the 19-year-old man had left a suicide note. After he was revived, the man told Mooneyham he had been despondent about a death in his family.

The man was taken to an area hospital.

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