Buffalo bus driver Darnell "Big Country" Barton says he only did what he felt he was supposed to do when he stopped his bus to rescue a woman threatening to jump from an overpass above the Scajaquada Expressway.
It was just another Friday afternoon for the public transportation employee who was heading south toward Buffalo State College with a bus full of McKinley High School students.
"It didn't seem real because what was going on around, traffic and pedestrians were going by as normal," Barton told WIVB, recalling the sight of a woman preparing to jump off the overpass's narrow ledge.
Security footage from inside the bus shows Barton pull the bus over and quickly walk up to the woman in an effort to grab her before she had a chance to do the unthinkable.
"She was distraught, she was distant, she was really disconnected," he said. "I grabbed her arm and put my arm around her and said 'Do you want to come on this side of the guardrail', and that was actually the first time she spoke to me she said yes."
After helping her over the guardrail, Barton sat with the woman until a counselor and a corrections officer who happened by offered to take over.
"Darnell won’t tell you this, but when he went back on his bus, the McKinley students gave him a round of applause," a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman told the Buffalo News.
"I was supposed to be there for her at that moment and I was," said the humble Barton. "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."
[video via AP]