Society

Uber Driver Saves Life Of Suicidal Passenger (Photos)

| by David Bonner
Sunshine Skyway BridgeSunshine Skyway Bridge

An Uber driver in Florida is being hailed a hero for helping to save a suicidal passenger's life.

Chad Farley, 41, got suspicious when his Uber passenger requested to be dropped in the middle of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg.  

He had good reason to be suspicious, considering that the bridge is Florida's top destination for suicide attempts.

The passenger, a young man estimated to be in his 20s, got into the car and began telling the driver of his "month old diagnosis of a certain brain cancer and the new procedure his doctor wants to use that has a lower risk than the alternative," explained Farley.

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Then he proceeded to tell Farley "the weirdest story that was not even close to being believable."

His passenger said that his doctor told him to have an ambulance pick him up in the middle of the bridge.

As Farley grew more suspicious, the passenger assured him that he was not going to jump off the bridge, but Farley didn't believe him, and dropped him off at a fishing pier near the entrance of the bridge.

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That's when Farley began witnessing to the young man, as he explained in a Facebook post.

We talked for a little bit and I gave him my testimony of how I got saved as young boy; how I strayed from the Lord later in life and how he brought me back to himself through my mother's death … I told him how much God, the giver of life loves him and he has no right to take his own life because it was bought at a high price. I grabbed his hand which was shaking so badly and prayed for a few minutes with him and he actually began praying once I was done. He felt much better after we prayed and was a little more calm … I told him to think of the goodness of Jesus and how much he loves him while he is on the bench thinking.

After parting ways, Farley called 911.

When the highway patrol arrived, the passenger was on the bridge and leaped into the water despite their pleas.

Cpl. Robert Friesen and Kristen Middleton jumped in after him and rescued him, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, commended the troopers for doing "an outstanding job."

Gaskins also praised Farley for summoning experts to the scene. "We're the ones trained to deal with people in these kinds of situations," he said.

In a statement issued to the Times, Uber said: "We deeply appreciate Mr. Farley's quick thinking and compassion for his rider, as well as law enforcement's fast response."

The troopers were not injured during the rescue, but the passenger was listed in critical but stable condition at Bayfront Medical Center on Aug. 8.

Farley says he is planning to visit his passenger in the hospital.  "God put that man in my car tonight for a reason," wrote Farley in his Facebook post. "I'm just glad he is still alive … Please pray for this young man."

Sources: Daily Mail, Tampa Bay Times, Chad Farley/Facebook / Featured Image: Baseball Bugs/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Facebook and WFLA via Daily Mail

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