Two years in the making: Woman meets officers who saved her life

    Timberly Eyssen meets the two police officers who pulled her from the Columbia River in April 2017 for the first time in KATU's studio Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. The officers, St. Helens police Officer Seann Luedke (left) and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Adam Shimer. (KATU Photo)

    “The injury just immediately changed my life,” Timberly Eyssen remembered.

    It was an experience that sent her world into a tailspin.

    Skydiving was supposed to be a fun. But a bucket list item she shared with her son turned into a broken neck and an opiate addiction.

    Eyssen says from that moment on her life was never the same.

    But it was another life-changing night that would put her back on a healthier track.

    “There is nothing lower than wanting to die,” Eyssen said.

    In April 2017, Eyssen hurriedly left her home in St. Helens with a plan in mind.

    “I was just hopeless, completely hopeless. Saw nothing positive,” Eyssen said.

    After years of opiate addiction, depression and PTSD, Eyssen says she couldn't see the light anymore.

    But as she drove, her boyfriend called police and officers all over Columbia County began to search for her.

    “As soon as I passed [the officer] I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God, I hope he doesn’t see my car; I hope that the call hasn’t gone out.’ But the minute I passed he swung around with his lights on,” Eyssen said.

    Moments later, she was surrounded and threatening officers, until she found a way out and took off.

    That escape led her into the Columbia River, where she didn’t think twice.

    “Complete peace came over me. I thought I was dying,” Eyssen said.

    But she wasn't; instead, she was being saved by the officers who were right behind her.

    “The officers put their lives on the line for me. Part of me really wants to give back, and I hope to meet them one day,” Eyssen said.

    And here at KATU, Thursday was that day.

    “Oh my God, you told me that you couldn’t get a hold of them,” Eyssen said.

    It was a moment two years in the making.

    “I wanted my life to go forward, knowing that I owed you my life,” Eyssen said to the officers, St. Helens police Officer Seann Luedke and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Adam Shimer.

    Watch the moment Eyssen meets Officer Luedke and Trooper Shimer:

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