Uber driver intervenes when man asks for trip to top of Skyway
ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A 28-year-old man who apparently lost all hope decided he would jump from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
He called an Uber, but instead of a driver, he got guardian angel.
Chad Farley has been an Uber driver for 11 months and says he's heard all kinds of stories from passengers. But when he picked up a passenger Monday night in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg, he was shocked by the destination.
"I looked on my app and I saw the destination was the middle of the Skyway Bridge and that's when everything kind of changed," Farley said.
As he drove, the man told his story. He's 28 years old and has brain cancer. He said his chance of survival is just 30 percent.
The reason he gave for going to the bridge didn't make sense.
"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," he recalled.
Farley says the man mentioned God, so they prayed, and he talked to the young man about how important life is.
"What would I want somebody to do for me if I was in the spot? That's what I was thinking," he says.
Approaching the bridge, Farley decided to have his passenger talk to the toll taker about wanting to use the emergency phones near the top of the bridge. A supervisor came and told Farley to drive to a nearby rest area.
FHP was called.
Farley says the man sat there on a bench until he saw troopers approaching so he took off and jumped into the water.
Troopers went in after him and pulled him out.
Farley says what brought them together was more than an app.
"This man was troubled and he needed someone to be a voice for him," he said.
A voice and a driver who, fortunately, didn't take him where he wanted to go.