'It was my destiny': Uber driver saves passenger intent on jumping off bridge

An Uber driver has picked up a suicidal passenger before saving the man’s life.

Chad Farley, 41, realised something was wrong when his passenger asked to be dropped off on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St Petersburg, Florida on Monday night.

The 130-metre high bridge, sometimes referred to as "Flordia's suicide bridge", has no walkway and passes over the waters of Hillsborough and Manatee County.

Mr Farley decided to talk to the man, 28, and learned he had brain cancer.

Mr Farley has been praised for his compassion. Source: Facebook
Mr Farley has been praised for his compassion. Source: Facebook

“I told him about my mother passing from cancer and we continued to talk about the disease for a few minutes,” Mr Farley posted on Facebook.

The Uber driver said the man's doctor had asked him to get an ambulance from the bridge to Tampa Bay.

“He said that the ambulance wouldn’t take him all the way to Tampa,” Mr Farley said.

Mr Farley said the man’s story was “strange”, but he played along and asked a woman working at a toll booth to call an ambulance.

But she told the pair an ambulance couldn’t pick him up, but he could make a call from a rest area further down the bridge.

“I took him to the Skyway rest area and talked with him and he assured me that he wasn't going to jump,” Mr Farley said.

“I could tell he was lying.”

The bridge is known as 'Florida's Suicide Bridge'. Source: AP Images
The bridge is known as 'Florida's Suicide Bridge'. Source: AP Images

The 41-year-old grabbed the man’s hand, which he said was “shaking so badly”.

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The pair prayed together, and the man again assured Mr Farley he wasn’t going to hurt himself.

They then sat together on a bench and Mr Farley snapped a picture of them.

“I said I wanted to remember him when I pray for him as reason for taking the pic,” he said.

No longer concerned the man was going to jump, Mr Farley left him but still called police and passed on the photo he took.

“When they (police) got there and found him, he jumped in the water to evade the police,” Mr Farley said.

According to Patch.com, police jumped into the water after the man and performed CPR after he fell unconscious.

Florida Highway Patrol sergeant Steve Gaskins said the man was in a stable condition.

Mr Farley said police told him there was a suicide call close to where he initially picked the man up and thought he was the same person.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mr Farley plans on visiting the man in hospital.

Uber said its drivers are encouraged to call emergency services in similar situations.

"We deeply appreciate Mr Farley's quick thinking and compassion for his rider," Uber said.

"Aas well as law enforcement's fast response."

Mr Farley, a leader at a Community Bible Baptist Church, is thankful the man is okay, but believes meeting him was destiny.

“God put that man in my car tonight for a reason,” he said.

“I'm just glad he is still alive.”

*If you are concerned about the mental health of yourself or a loved one, seek support and information by calling Lifeline 13 11 14, Mensline 1300 789 978, or Kids Helpline 1800 551 800*

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