Ethics Hero: Ohio Bus Driver Damone Hudson

Driving his route in Dayton, Ohio,  bus driver Damone Hudson saw a woman standing on the other side of the rail on the Main Street Bridge that spans the Great Miami River. He could have continued on. He could have ignored her. Instead, he made an unscheduled stop, and as his passengers waited and watched, spoke to the woman, then left the bus  to get closer to her.

He said, gently, in an exchange that was partially captured on video,

 “Why don’t we come back over on the side of the rail? … Hey miss, why don’t we come back on this side of the rail for me?…Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day, you know. Can I give you a hug?”

Someone  called 911 as Hudson kept talking  until a Dayton Police Department crisis intervention specialist arrived. The potential suicide stepped back over the railing, and was taken to safety and a medical evaluation. The driver got back in his bus and continued the route.

“He did a great job,”  Dayton police detective Patty Tackett told reporters.

Later Hudson said in an interview,

“I know that every person’s struggle is different and everybody’s going through something, but you always want to continue. Life is a roller coaster, right? You go up, you’re going to come down. But you’ve got to think ‘I’m going back up’ and hopefully it’s going up for her now.

An ethics mantra here is “Fix the problem.” If you have an opportunity to prevent a wrong,  protect someone against harm, or intervene in a situation that seems ready to take a dangerous or deadly turn, and you also have the ability to do so, the most ethical course is to be proactive, make the effort, and be a force in your society and community for good.

This is what Damone Hudson did, and he is a role model for all of us. Imagine how differently things might have turned out if this kind, ethical man had been among the bystanders here, here, here, here, or here.

In an ethical society, every citizen is like Damone Hudson.

16 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Ohio Bus Driver Damone Hudson

  1. In an ethical society, every citizen is like Damone Hudson.

    True. To be honest, though, I’d take half that.

    This is a good way to begin a weekend — with an ethics hero. Thanks for that, Jack.

  2. This is both heartening and horrific. What percentage of average citizens would take Damone Hudson’s approach, or would just wait for her to jump and watch “for the thrill of it?”

    Thanks to social media we have become observers of the worst kind of American behavior and horror. I am astonished when the most hateful, ugly posts of varying kinds — some just words, other “Youtube” films, get hundreds and thousands of thumbs-up responses.

    On what basis? Because Facebook writers hate Trump? Because other people’s tragedies somehow make us feel better about our poor, sickening selves?

    PS If this had been a policeman, the press would have found a way to make him a evil man.

    • My wife and I happened upon a FLIR recording from the gunsight of an Apache yesterday, engaging about 3 dozen Taliban fighters. It occurred to us that millions of people probably watch this stuff as some kind of sick snuff porn.

  3. My favorite part of this story is once the police arrived and made the woman safe, Mr. Hudson simply continued on his route. Good man.

  4. I think we have to remember this story when at some point in the future, the moral luck goes the other way. Would we condemn him if she jumped and his words and actions proved ineffectual? Would we tell him he wasn’t qualified to intervene and should have waited for professionals to engage her?

    Would we say he was a part of the “do something” crowd doing anything because it was “something”?

      • Which if that were to happen, every company requiring drivers, from UPS to FedEx to any shipping company ought fall head over heels offering him a job with training paid for.

    • I thought about that because of my rich, slapstick fueled sick sense of humor. I asked my wife. “What would they be saying if her response after the first thing he said to her was to be startled, lose her balance, and fall screaming to her death?”

    • Oh go to to hell. A kind man has to be denigrated because of some futuristic, nihiliistic (and oh so fun) view of the future? Can’t anyone take a single situation as it is, and not find a way to make it ugly? You all suck. And go ahead an lambaste me: I am off this blog for awhile. All you do is pick, pick, from Marshall’s grammar and typos to over-long analysis — which read like quotes from your adolescent Ph.D, dissertations. I’m out — to your pleasure –so you can go on with your self aggrandizing and narcissistic posts.

      Frankly, I don’t see how Marshall can stand any of you.

  5. At last: An example to counterbalance my unfortunate tendency to be cynical about the general public. Damone Hudson handled this situation like a professional and probably saved a life.

  6. I am pleased to report that after fighting for it for 35 years, it will be only four more years and close to $200 million before the Golden Gate Bridge will be adorned by a 20-foot-wide mesh net of stainless steel and marine-grade cable, painted gray instead of red to better blend with the water.

    More than 1,500 people have jumped to their deaths since the bridge opened in 1937. Most suffer a grisly death, with massive internal injuries, broken bones and skull fractures. Some die from internal bleeding. Others drown. Twenty-six have survived. About a quarter of them went on to succeed in their efforts by other means. The rest, so far as is known, did not make another attempt to end their lives; several actively campaigned for the barrier, as did hundreds of friends and relatives of the dead.

    Here’s the reality on my side of the bridge (I’ve no idea what goes on on the Other Side.). The barrier plans have been “under consideration” through seven mayors (including Dianne Feinstein and Gavin Newsom, both of whom had better uses for the money and no reason to stand on that particular platform). The excuses – the ones that stopped the idea in its tracks every time – ranged from “too expensive,” through “it will spoil the look of the bridge” (“think of the tourists” is just as heart-tugging in some places as “think of the children” in others), “the construction will slow traffic“(a cardinal sin in a city that runs largely on commuters from across-the-Bay, and “the Tall Ships won’t be able to sail the Bay again” (the net will extend 20 feet below the span as well as 20 ft outward, so the high masted beauties may indeed be forbidden transit … except that they weren’t expected to repeat the 1976 centenary celebration again anyway), to “it’s a human right to be in charge of your own life” (the let-’em-drown philosophy).

    The safety net begins construction this year. Maybe. If so, at the yearly growing number of deaths – currently 73 – only 292 more jumpers will have to die before it’s finished in 2021. But here it is March already . . . .

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