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Published: Tuesday, 4/24/2001

Police credit 2 teen girls with saving jumper's life

Toledo police said two teenage girls helped rescue a city woman who jumped off a Champion Street bridge Sunday over Swan Creek in an apparent suicide attempt.

Patricia Ann Villegas, 39, of the 1500 block of Western Avenue, was treated for a head injury at the Medical College of Ohio Hospitals after the 5:38 p.m. incident, authorities said. The woman dived about 25 feet from the bridge. The creek is about three feet deep in the area, authorities said.

Cassandra Shwan, 17, and Chrissy Zywocki, 15, both of Toledo, went into the creek and tried to pull Ms. Villegas out, police said. Ms. Villegas jumped onto the bridge railing and into the creek and started to swim upstream when the girls saw her, police said.

The girls kept Ms. Villegas' head above water, pulled her to safety, and stayed with her until rescuers arrived, police said. Police found writings in Ms. Villegas' apartment that indicated she was despondent and apparently wanted to commit suicide, a report said.

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