Uber drivers are usually willing to take you pretty much anywhere you request, no questions asked.
But Chad Farley, a driver from Gulfport, Florida, knew he had to intervene when a passenger made one very suspicious request.
He asked to be dropped off in the middle of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge—Florida’s most frequent suicide location.
Farley recounted his story in a Facebook post. On Monday, he picked up the 28-year-old passenger. The Uber driver chatted with the man—and found out he was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
Farley told him his mother had recently died of cancer, and the two men bonded, discussing the disease and their religious faiths.
But when Farley asked why he wanted to be dropped off in the middle of the notorious bridge, the man gave a bizarre explanation:
“He said his doctor told him to go to the middle of the Skyway, pull over, and use the phones to get an ambulance to take him to Tampa,” Farley recalled to Fox 13.
Farley did not buy this excuse for a second. Among other discrepancies, the Skyway Bridge doesn’t have any kind of pedestrian walkway or safe area at the top, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
So when they arrived at the bridge toll both, Farley made the man recount the same story to the operator and her supervisor—who also didn’t buy it.
“I made eye signals to her that something was up with my passenger,” Farley wrote.
She explained that it wasn’t possible to have an ambulance pick him up from the bridge and suggested he call from the bridge’s rest area.
As the two made their way to the rest area, the passenger seemingly realized his driver was onto him, and tried to tell him he was fine.
“He assured me that he wasn’t going to jump,” Farley said. “I could tell he was lying.”
Farley could tell that the man was shaking and decided to pray with him. This calmed him down, but Farley sensed the man was still determined to kill himself.
But Farley had a plan. He snapped a selfie with the passenger, explaining that he would pray for him later and wanted to remember what he looked like. The passenger agreed and flashed the “peace” sign in the photo.
But it wasn’t to remember him by. It was for the police.
Farley called 911 and explained the situation. The Florida Highway Patrol asked him to email the photo for identification.
When they arrived on the scene, the passenger was still sitting on the bench.
And he immediately jumped into the water when he saw the police.
The troopers jumped in after him. Luckily, the rescue was successful: the man was found unconscious, but was resuscitated with CPR and brought to the hospital.
He is reportedly in stable condition, all thanks to his attentive Uber driver.
Sgt. Steve Gaskins commended Farley’s decision to reach out to the police.
“We’re the ones trained to deal with people in these kinds of situations,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.
Uber also praised their employee.
“We deeply appreciate Mr. Farley’s quick thinking and compassion for his rider, as well as law enforcement’s fast response,” the company said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.
But as for Farley, he was only doing what any sensible person would do.
“I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would have dropped him off at the top of the bridge,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.
“This man was troubled and he needed someone to be a voice for him,” he told Fox 13.
Farley says he didn’t get the passenger’s name, but would like to visit him in the hospital to check in on him.