Man In Crisis Causes Massive Traffic Jam

posted by Brad Ford - 

Photo: ODOT
The commute on I-84 westbound was expected to be bad Thursday morning, because of a construction project that closed the ramp to I-5 northbound. 

All of the westbound I-84 traffic was being diverted to the I-5 southbound ramp.

Around 4 a.m., drivers started calling 9-1-1 to report a naked man on the ramp from I-84 westbound to I-5 southbound who appeared to be ready to jump.

Police closed the ramp which stopped all traffic on I-84 westbound. They also closed I-5 below the ramp to prevent vehicles from being hit if the man jumped.

Crisis negotiators arrived at the scene and around 7:20 a.m. they were able to get close enough to the man they grabbed and tackled him. He was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Portland Police Sergeant Pete Simpson said they realize the problems it caused for drivers stuck in the back-up, but the life of the person in crisis took precedent.

He says it takes time for negotiators to develop trust with a person in crisis. If they rush the person too early the person will likely jump.

Simpson says they thank the drivers who were stuck in the delay for their patience.

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