Regardless of any external factor, such as race, gender, age, socio-economic status etc., we all as humans deal with internal problems. Not those that originate within the body (or let’s hope not!) rather those that live within our consciousness. Whether these problems are rooted in real life or just derivatives of our overthinking is certainly up for a ‘subjective’ debate. But it is inherent that everyone deals with their own individual subjective problems. That’s why sometimes a genuine smile or a kind hello can go a long way and do great deeds.
And that’s exactly what Darnell Barton did when he pulled his bus over to convince a girl not to kill herself.
Here is the story of superhero and New York bus driver Darnell Barton.
Everyday is a chance and an opportunity to make a difference and save a life, and Darnell seized that opportunity one morning in 2013.
Driving his usual route, the southbound Elmwood 20 bus towards Buffalo State College, he caught a glimpse of a girl staring over an expressway on the other side of the guardrail.
The highway in question was the Scajaquada Expressway where it gets quite busy in the early hours of the day. According to Darnell himself, “traffic was normal [that morning.]” As seen in the video, several cars and even a cyclist pass by this distraught girl before Darnell pulls over.
Not sure if she was a danger to herself, Darnell stopped the Metro bus and called to her. “Ma’am are you okay? Are you okay?” He called the police, gave them his location and told them to send the authorities before rushing to the young lady’s aid.
Trained as a volunteer firefighter and as a peacekeeper, Darnell got off the bus and asked the lady if she would come onto his side of the guardrail. Looking back at Darnell and then at the highway below she didn’t give him a response.
Darnell spoke again “Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day. Can I give you a hug?”
As he reaches over the railing to embrace her, his training kicks in which reminded him that once you make contact with someone who is suicidal, don’t break that connection. So he decided to stay with her until the police arrived.
He asks her once again if she would like to come back on the other side, and for the first time she responds and says ‘yes.’
In the video, you can see Darnell helping her over the railing and then sitting with her. He says he asked her a few questions and found out that she was a student.
While he was staying with her and listening to her talk, he says he was just praying. According to Darnell, he said that there were some things on her mind that “really, really got her.”
Darnell said it was fate. “I was supposed to be there for her at that moment and I was. No matter what it is, we’re gonna help you [her] work your way through this.’
“I’m a football guy,” Darnell says, “when you sit on the bench and the coach calls your number, you gotta be ready to make a play.” I wonder what he meant by ‘coach’ in this analogy. As he gets back on the bus, the 20 or so passengers and students give him a round of applause.