Published November 03, 2013
Real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Friday that he would offer a $10,000 reward to the Buffalo bus driver who stopped a young woman from leaping off a bridge to her death two weeks ago.
Trump announced his intention via a Tweet that said "The bus driver who saved the woman from jumping off the bridge was a really cool, great guy. I'm going to send him 10-thousand dollars he deserves it!"
The bus driver, 37-year-old Darnell Barton, was driving along his regular route on October 18 when he spotted the woman standing on the edge of an overpass, looking down at an expressway. The bus' closed-circuit video system shows Barton approaching the woman, who looks at him briefly before returning her focus to the traffic.
Barton, a former volunteer firefighter, then put his arms around the women and helped her over the guardrail. He then sat down next to her and asked her various questions, managing to keep her talking until police and an ambulance arrived. A corrections officer and another driver who had been behind the bus helped Barton distract the woman.
While I was holding her, listening to their questions, I just prayed," Barton said. "Whatever was on her mind, it had her. It really, really had her."
When the woman was taken off in the ambulance, Barton got back on the bus and received an ovation from his passengers. He then finished his route, went home, and wrote a report about what had happened.
Trump told WGRZ-TV that he had not spoken to Barton, but would formally offer him the money Monday.
"I love doing it when I see something wonderful like that," Trump said. "That was just wonderful what he did. And with such compassion and such heart, and such a nice guy and I just loved watching it. It was just beautiful the way he did it and this is very special and he's a special guy and he has to be rewarded for that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.