Darnell Barton is a bus driver from Buffalo, NY. While he was driving high school students home one afternoon, he noticed something disturbing.
It was a woman sitting on the ledge of bridge on the expressway. She looked like she was about to jump.
“I didn’t think it was real with everything else going on around her,” Barton told The Buffalo News. He also noted that other people saw her but, disturbingly, they didn’t stop: “Traffic was proceeding as normal and a couple of pedestrians walked right by her and a bicyclist rode by.”
Then Barton did what most people wouldn’t do: He stopped the bus and asked her if she was OK. When the woman didn’t answer, Barton got out of the bus and approached her with caution.
“I gave her some encouraging words. I grew up on a church. In the background I kind of heard my mom’s voice,” Barton said.
He quickly slipped his arm around her waist to make sure she wouldn’t jump.
“I asked her, ‘Do you want to come on this side of the guard rail now?’ and that was the first time she spoke to me and said, ‘Yeah.’ ” Barton said.
Barton then got on the ground and consoled the woman. Several other people and a crisis counselor who fatefully walked by stayed with her until authorities came.
Barton isn’t the only bus driver turned hero; in another instance a driver saved a young girl who fell out of a window. When Barton returned to the bus, the students gave him a standing ovation.
“I feel like I did what I was supposed to do at the time,” he said. “I’m a football guy so when you sit the bench and the coach calls your number, you got to go in there make a play… and I think that’s what I did.”
See the incredible footage of the rescue below.
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