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.
“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.