Human Interest Police Officer Leaps 30 Feet Off Overpass to Save Boy’s Life: ‘I Needed to Get to Him’

After watching a preteen boy run along a highway, stop to climb a guard rail and then jump off an overpass around 30 feet, Officer Jessie Ferreira Cavallo knew she had to put her own life on the line to save his.

The officer from Hastings-On-Hudson Police Department in Westchester County, New York, witnessed the incident as she was driving to work on the Sawmill River Parkway on Friday afternoon, according to local outlet The Journal News.

She was “shocked,” she told local TV station News 12 about what she saw, opting to pull over onto the shoulder of the highway. Grabbing as many first-aid supplies from her car as she could carry in her pockets, Ferreira Cavallo said she raised herself over the guard rail and dropped off the overpass to find the boy.

“Everything happened so fast and I think my adrenaline was pumping so high,” Ferreira Cavallo told The Journal News. “I wasn’t thinking too much… I just knew, when I looked down and saw him… he looked dead. I couldn’t see anything other than blood. I thought to myself, ‘He needs help. I need to help him.’ ”

Another passerby, an unidentified woman dressed in a military uniform, helped at the scene, Ferreira Cavallo told The Journal News. Together they gave the boy CPR, put a neck brace on him and splinted his arm, News 12 reported. They also checked his airway and cleared it of blood.

“[There was] a lot of blood all over his body and face,” Ferreira told News 12.

After the fall, the boy could open his eyes partly, but was unresponsive when Ferreira Cavallo tried to speak to him. An ambulance rushed him to a local hospital, where he’s being treated for a broken arm, broken nose, and leg injuries, according to The Journal News. The boy, 12, is expected to survive, the outlet said.

Ferreira Cavallo said the magnitude of her actions didn’t truly sink in until a day after the incident.

“I didn’t realize how high it was. It seemed doable,” she told The Journal News. “I thought I jumped over a brick wall, or a cement barrier. It was so fast. It was more like tunnel vision. I saw the boy and I needed to get to him. I didn’t see anything else.”

She added to News 12, “I think I was here at that time for a reason. I don’t know if it was God’s plan.”

PEOPLE was not immediately able to speak to Ferreira Cavallo despite multiple attempts. The Westchester County Police Department also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

On Sunday, Ferreira Cavallo tried to visit the boy at the hospital, according to The Journal News, to find out how he was recovering.

“I don’t know his name or anything,” she told The Journal News. “I just hope that he’s doing well. I just want to give him a hug.”


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