A group of track athletes rushed to help a teenager who either jumped or fell from a freeway overpass Monday.
Members of a school track team from the Poway Unified High School District were on a jog through Rancho Penasquitos when they reported seeing a girl jump approximately 40 or 50 feet below near Park Run Road and Darkwood Road.
Homeowner Luke Dailey said he first found out about the incident when he saw the high school students running through his backyard and knocking on his window.
Dailey gave the track athletes his mobile phone to call police.
“I was just as scared as they were,” he told NBC 7 San Diego.
The 18-year-old girl was alive when she was found at the bottom of the canyon. Her backpack and other items were found at the top of the bridge so officials say it appears the teenager intentionally jumped.
The athletes really helped emergency responders who arrived to help the teenager according to San Diego police.
One athlete was running up and down the canyon showing officers the location according to San Diego police Sgt. Phil Franchina.
The teenagers also stayed with the victim.
“It was a great help in calming her down,” Franchina said. “It was a great job on everybody’s part.”
Franchina said it appeared the teenager suffered several serious injuries from the fall.
Police and San Diego Fire Rescue brought in a helicopter to pull the teenager from the canyon.
Dailey would like to see the athletes and thank them for alerting him to the emergency.
“If those girls weren’t there, she would’ve been down there for days,” he said.
Officials say it doesn’t appear the unidentified teenager fell from the bridge or that there was any foul play involved.
The homeowner identified the track athletes as Mount Carmel High School students. A staff member at Mount Carmel would not comment and referred NBC 7 to the Poway Unified School District. Superintendent John Collins would not identify the track team involved in the interest of protecting student privacy.
San Diego County offers a free crisis hotline that's available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at 888-724-7240.