Darnell Barton, a bus driver in Buffalo, NY, was having a typical morning while driving his bus along the usual route. After he had picked up passengers, he noticed something strange going on down the road. He saw a young woman climb over the guardrail and gaze down at the cars below.
Barton was unsure if she was a danger to herself and stopped the bus in the middle of the road to check on her.
He called out to the young woman who hesitantly looked up at him, then back to the pavement below. Barton decided he would have to do something immediately.
“Why don’t we come back over on the side of the rail? … Hey miss, why don’t you 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 who is a trained volunteer firefighter and peacekeeper knew that once contact is made with someone who is suicidal, that connection should not be broken. He stayed 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 after wrapping his arms around her, asking if she wanted to come back over the rail.
Barton helped her climb back over the rail and sat with her until officers arrived. He talked to her and learned she was a student but knew 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 arrived and Barton received a standing ovation from all 20 students and other passengers for his inspiring act of kindness.
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