There’s a lot of responsibility in becoming an Uber driver. The safety of others is your top priority and people’s lives are in your hands.
For one Uber driver in St. Petersburg, Florida, that responsibility isn’t something he takes lightly.
Chad Farley was ready to wrap up his night of driving when he decided to pick up one more customer. It quickly became clear that his decision was no coincidence.
The “chipper” passenger was friendly and didn’t strike Chad as odd in any way. That is—until the man began telling the driver that he had brain cancer.
Chad felt an overwhelming need to witness to his passenger.
“I told him about my mother passing from cancer and we continued to talk about the disease for a few minutes,” he wrote on Facebook. “I asked him if he was in school and he told me all about what he wanted to be. We talked for a little bit and I gave him my testimony of how I got saved as a young boy; how I strayed from the Lord later in life and how he brought me back to himself through my mother’s death.”
It took a few more minutes before Chad realized where he was supposed to drop this passenger off—in the middle of the Skyway Bridge, which also happens to be the structure’s highest point.
The man explained to Chad that he needed to wait for an ambulance at the bridge, because paramedics wouldn’t pick him up at his house.
That’s when Chad says his nerves “started like, paying attention.”
Rather than taking the man to his destination, Chad dropped the man off at a public rest stop where there were other people around.
“I told him how much God, the giver of life, loves him and he has no right to take his own life because it was bought at a high price.”
Before letting the passenger get out of the car, the Uber driver grabbed the man’s hand and prayed with him.
“I said, ‘I don’t know you, but I love you. You’re another individual. God loves you, I love you. I want nothing to happen to you.’” He asked the man to promise that he wouldn’t do anything—alluding to what Chad believed to be an apparent suicide attempt.
“The Bible says, ‘a broken spirit, who can bear that,’” said Chad of the troubled man. “And that’s what he was, a broken spirit.”
He snapped a smiley photo with the passenger before dropping him off at the rest stop, where Chad then immediately sent the selfie to police.
Highway patrol rushed to the bridge and rescued the man who’d already jumped in the water.
He is believed to be in critical, but stable, condition.
After news broke about the attempted suicide, the passenger’s sister contacted Chad—the last person he’d spoken to before taking that jump. She revealed that the brain cancer claims were false, and that her brother had tried to take his life previously that week.
Chad says he doesn’t believe his acts were heroic. He hopes any other Uber driver would do the same thing if faced with that situation.
“God put that man in my car tonight for a reason,” Chad wrote. “I’m just glad he is still alive.”
The Uber driver has since been interviewed by a handful of local news stations—each one he sees as an opportunity to share how God’s hand was all over this circumstance.