Darnell Barton, a 37-year-old bus driver nicknamed "Big Country" by his coworkers, was on his route on a recent Friday when he noticed a woman hanging onto a railway over the Scajaquada Expressway.
Surveillance video on the bus captured the scene, in which Barton stopped his bus, made a report to dispatch, then stepped out to ask the woman if she was okay.
"She was distraught, she was distant, she was really disconnected," Barton told WIVB. "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."
Barton and the woman, who was reportedly in her 20s, sat on the concrete and talked for awhile, when more good Samaritans, a state prison corrections officer and a counselor pulled over to help.
"It was meant to be. I was supposed to be there for her at that moment and I was," Barton added. "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."
As help arrived, Barton's passengers moved to another bus.
“Darnell won’t tell you this, but when he went back on his bus, the McKinley students gave him a round of applause,” Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s rep C. Douglas Hartmayer told the Buffalo News. "That’s because of Darnell’s modesty, which speaks to his demeanor of being very humble.”
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