A Bus Driver for the Buffalo, New York transit system acted quickly and bravely in saving a woman who was about to commit suicide, and in turn became a hero. The 37-year-old Darnell Barton had just picked up 20 high school students on the afternoon of Friday, October 8th and was driving over a bridge on the Scajaquada Expressway when he saw a woman who appeared to be in her 20’s leaning over the railing.
“It didn’t seem real…,” said Barton when speaking of the ordeal, “…what was going on around, traffic and pedestrians were going by as normal.” Luckily for that young lady, Barton was not the average passerby. Barton stopped the vehicle in the middle of the bridge, opened the door and yelled out, “Ma’am are you okay?” When the woman didn’t respond, Barton got out and put his arm around her.
Barton then talked to her and tried to get her to respond. Once she replied he asked to come back over the railing and lifted the woman over to safety. He then sat with her on the ground, talking to her about her problems until a corrections officer and a counselor approached and took over.
“It was meant to be,” Barton said. “I was supposed to be there for her at that moment and I was. I wanted to convey that whatever it was, I’m going to help you through and it’s not as serious as jumping onto the 198.”
“I feel like I did what I was supposed to do at the time,” Barton said. “I’m a football guy so when you sit the bench and the coach calls your number, you gotta go in there make a play, do what the play calls for, and I think that’s what I did.”
When Barton, or “Big Country” as his co-workers call him, returned to the driver’s seat to finish his route, the students gave him an appropriate round of applause.