QMI Agency photographer wins National Newspaper Award

Barrie police hold on to a man as he dangles from the Dunlop Street West overpass, over the...

Barrie police hold on to a man as he dangles from the Dunlop Street West overpass, over the northbound lanes of Highway 400 in Barrie, Ontario. (MARK WANZEL/BARRIE EXAMINER/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:36 PM ET

A QMI Agency photojournalist won a National Newspaper Award Friday night for his dramatic photo of a police officer desperately trying to save a man trying to jump from an overpass in Barrie, Ont.

Mark Wanzel, a freelance photographer for the Barrie Examiner, won in the news photography category during a gala at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

QMI Agency photographer Chantal Poirier, from Le Journal de Montreal, was the runner-up for her photo of a grieving mother striking her daughter's alleged murderer. The third runner-up was Alain Roberge at La Presse.

Judges received 1,430 entries for articles and photos published in 2012.

Wanzel took home $1,000.

Wanzel took the winning photograph on March 22, 2012, as a man hung from the Dunlop Street bridge over a jammed Hwy. 400 -- the main artery to Ontario's cottage country.

The drama began when a man under extreme distress attempted to escape police capture. Two Barrie police officers managed to catch him on the bridge, just as he attempted to jump. Their quick actions allowed traffic below to come to a standstill, and motorists watched while authorities struggled to pull the man to safety. In the end, they lost their grip and the man fell to the highway feet-first, crumpling into a heap.

He injured both his ankles.

The photo also won the Jack Bowman Memorial Award for spot news photography at the Ontario Newspaper Award gala in Waterloo last weekend.


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