RTA driver saves woman about to jump off Dayton bridge

Published: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 @ 5:11 PM

Bus driver helps thwart suicide attempt

An RTA bus driver made an unscheduled stop last month that likely saved a woman’s life.

“Everyone’s going through something. Even if you are, just reach out and try to touch someone, even if it’s in a small way,” said RTA driver Damone Hudson.

On his route, he spotted a woman on the other side of the rail on the Main Street Bridge that spans the Great Miami River in  downtown Dayton.

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Bus surveillance video recorded what Hudson said when he was first speaking to the woman. “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?” The video didn’t capture what else Hudson said to the woman after he stepped off the bus, but he told News Center 7’s Natalie Jovonovich about his intervention.

“ ‘Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day, you know. Can I give you a hug?’ And it was just anything to get her to come back over on the other side of the rail,” he said.

Someone else called for help, and Hudson kept talking to the woman until a Dayton Police Department crisis intervention specialist arrived.

“There is not a right or wrong approach to that,” Dayton police detective Patty Tackett said. It’s about drawing from personal knowledge and experiences in those instances. “He did a great job, and again I think it goes with our gut instincts.”

Jason Allen of Dayton said RTA drivers are more than just drivers, especially Hudson.

“He’s one of the best bus drivers we have,” he said.

Once police arrived, Hudson got back on his bus and drove away, but not before that woman made as much of an impact on him as he did on her.

“I know that every person’s struggle is different and everybody’s going through something, but you always want to continue,” he said. “Life is a roller coaster, right? You to 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.

HOW TO GET HELP

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK(8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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