Buffalo bus driver coaxes suicidal woman off bridge
A New York bus driver stopped mid-route to coax a distraught woman off the ledge of a bridge, and his heroics were caught on camera.
Darnell Barton, of Buffalo, was driving some students from McKinley High School home Oct. 18 when he spotted a woman sitting on the ledge over the Scajaquada Expressway, looking like she was ready to jump, according to local reports.
Darnell Barton, a city bus driver in Buffalo, helped save a woman who was standing on the narrow ledge above the Scajaquada Expressway on Oct. 18.
The 37-year-old pulled over and asked if she was OK.
Barton was driving with a busload of McKinley High School students when he spotted the woman. Other vehicles and passengers just passed her by, he said.
"I didn't think it was real with everything else going on around her," Barton told The Buffalo News. "Traffic was proceeding as normal and a couple of pedestrians walked right by her and a bicyclist rode by."
When she didn't answer, Barton parked the bus and got out.
Barton, 37, said the woman was distraught and not speaking until he asked her if she wanted to come back over the guardrail.
He approached cautiously and then quickly slipped an arm around her waist, surveillance video shows
Bus passengers recorded as Barton gently coaxed the woman to step back from the ledge overlooking the Scajaquada Expressway.
"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 told The Buffalo News.
The bearish bus driver, along with a handful of other Good Samaritans, including a crisis counselor who had happened by, stayed with the woman until police and medical aid arrived.
He and a few other passersby, including a crisis counselor who happened to be in the area, waited with the woman until help arrived.
When he got back on the bus, the 20 or so kids gave him a round of applause.
Barton said he believed he was meant to be driving by at that moment.
"I feel like I did what I was supposed to do at the time," he told WIVB-TV. "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."