His co-workers call him “Big Country” because he is a “big man with a big heart.” Darnell Barton is a bus driver in Buffalo, New York. On August 18, 2013, he was transporting a couple dozen teenagers from McKinley High School.
While crossing a bridge on the Scajaquada Expressway, Darnell noticed a woman had climbed over the guard rail on the overpass and was standing on a small ledge leaning out over the highway below.
Darnell, 37, knew the woman in her 20s was contemplating suicide. He immediately stopped his bus in the middle of traffic, opened his bus door and called out the woman: “Miss you all right? Ma’am are you ok? Are you ok?”
You can watch the rescue recorded on the bus video camera at the end of the article.
The video also shows moments before someone walking by the woman and another person riding by on a bike — both seemingly oblivious to the woman’s desperate situation.
When the woman didn’t reply, Darnell called the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s dispatch office, so they could call for help. He heard one of the students on his bus say, “I don’t want to see someone die.”
Darnell then got out of his bus. He approached the distraught woman, put his arms around her and asked her if she wanted to come back over the rail. The woman, speaking for the first time, said yes.
Darnell helped her climb over the rail and then sat down beside her on the sidewalk and talked to her. In a interview with ABC News, Darnell said, “I gave her encouraging words. I grew up in a church, so in the background I heard my mother.”
Others — including a corrections officer and a woman who said she was a counselor — saw what was happening, joined Darnell and began talking to the distraught woman..
“While I was holding her, listening to their questions, I just prayed. Whatever was on her mind, it really had her. It really, really had her,” Darnell said in an interview with AP Press.
After the police and ambulance arrived, Darnell returned to his bus and many of the kids broke out in applause for what he had done.
When describing his rescue, Darnell said “It was meant to be. I was supposed to be there for her at that moment and I was.”
In the ABC News interview, Darnell said, “The Bible says be ready in season and out of season. You have to be ready.” He was citing a passage from 2 Timothy which reads: “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…” (2 Timothy 4;2 NASV)
God is making Divine appointments for believers
I believe Darnell is just another example of God making Divine appointments for believers. As I reported in a previous post, over the last few months I have noticed numerous reports of Christians being put in situations where they are saving people’s lives. .
Whether it’s Antoinette Tuff talking down a potential massacre at an elementary school or Sergio Consuegra, while on his way to church, rescuing a man being beaten by a biker gang, God is putting believers in a position to make a difference.
- Bus Driver Helps Women Ready to Jump Off Ledge: ABC News (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW_ytNhI7q0)
- Buffalo bus driver prevents suicidal woman from jumping off bridge: Associated Press
- Bus driver prevents woman from jumping off overpass, teaching student riders a lesson in compassion: The Buffalo News
- God is booking appointments for you: opentheword.org
- Man walking to church rescues man being beaten by a pack of bikers: opentheword.org