SEQUIM — A Sequim man who risked his life preventing a woman from jumping off the Hood Canal Bridge last year has recently earned a Carnegie Medal for his heroism.
Jason Doig said he is still struggling with the word “hero” but was humbled when he learned last month he had joined the ranks of more than 10,000 others who have earned the award since the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s inception 114 years ago.
“I am very proud to be honored,” he said. “I don’t look at myself any differently. I still have a hard time with the word ‘hero,’ but I have to start accepting it.”
On March 3, 2017, Doig was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling on the Hood Canal Bridge when he saw the woman approaching the rail of the bridge.
As Doig exited the vehicle and crossed to the opposite side of the bridge, Dan Powell of Marrowstone Island distracted the woman.
Doig ran a short distance and grabbed the woman as she leaped backward from the railing. She struck Doig in the face and grabbed his shirt as she was dangling over the edge of the bridge, about 30 feet above a concrete structure and the waterway below.
Doig said last year there was a chance he could have fallen off the bridge with the woman had Powell and Arthur Green of Sequim not helped him pull the woman back onto the roadway.
With that act of heroism, Doig is among 10,009 people who have earned the Carnegie Medal.
“The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others,” according to a press release.
Doig shares the distinction with a 56-year-old school cafeteria clerk who stopped to help a wounded police officer who was struggling to take a man into custody, a 38-year-old radiographic technologist who suffered burns while attempting to save the pilot of a fiery helicopter crash, a 51-year-old cable lineman who died attempting to save his co-worker from drowning and many others.
“I’m very honored to be a part of that group,” he said. “In reading all the stories in the past year of previous Carnegie Medal winners, it’s a pretty amazing group of people. I feel very honored to be a part of that group of awardees.”
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission accepts nominations for the award, but in Doig’s case, the commission had nominated him itself, he said.
Doig said an investigator from the commission reached out to him last year and interviewed everyone who was involved in the rescue and others who had witnessed it.
“I thought it was a really neat process they go through,” he said. “They really made sure they get everybody’s story.”
Doig said he has not heard how the woman is doing, but said he respects the family’s right to privacy.
“I would love to know how she’s doing and whether she got the help she deserved,” he said. “Some people might not want to share that and I understand. But if the opportunity arose, I would love to have an update on how she is doing.”