Darnell Barton, a bus driver in Buffalo, NY, spent the morning in question the same as any other. He had just picked up passengers along his route when he noticed something strange going on down the road. As he made his way over a bridge, he saw a young woman climb over the guardrail and stand, gazing down at the cars rushing by below.
Unsure if she was a danger to herself, Barton decided to check on her. If it wasn’t for Barton, things would have gone much differently that day.
He stopped his bus in the middle of the road and called out to the young woman. She hesitantly looked up at him then back at the pavement below… unsure of her next move, Barton decided it was time to act.
‘Why don’t we come back over on the side of the rail? … Hey miss, why don’t we come back on this side of the rail for me?’ Damone said, before getting off his bus.
He then said: ‘Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day, you know. Can I give you a hug?’
Barton was trained as a volunteer firefighter and peacekeeper. He remembered that once contact is made with someone who is suicidal, that connection shouldn’t be broken. So, he resolved to stay with her until the police arrived.
“It was an interesting situation, knowing what you know and knowing what you have to do,” he said during a phone interview. ” Dispatch picked up. I remember giving my location and saying, ‘Send the authorities, this young lady needs help,’ and then dashing the phone down.”
The video below captures Barton leaning over the railing and wrapping his arms around the young woman, asking if she wanted to come back over the rail. In an unexpected turn of events, she did just that.
Barton gently helped her climb back over the rail and sat with her until officers arrived. He asked a few questions and learned she was a student, but could also tell there were some major things going on in her life.
“While I was holding her, listening to her questions, I just prayed,” the bus driver said. “Whatever was on her mind, it had her. It really, really had her.”
The officers finally arrived and Barton went on his way, but not before receiving a standing ovation from all 20 students and other passengers for his inspiring act of kindness. Check out more on the story in the video below!