Life
Bus driver kindly helps woman in distress late at night
Dan knew something wasn't right when the woman didn't attempt to get on the bus, despite it being 1 AM. Thankfully, he decided to follow his gut.
Elijah Chan
12.20.21

Not all heroes wear capes.

The famous catchphrase has caught on, celebrating people who are far off from our imagined capabilities of these larger-than-life characters. Since we often think of superpowers or feats of strength, we tend to overlook the most human form of heroism – being there for someone who needs it the most.

Flickr - Bernard Spragg. NZ
Source:
Flickr - Bernard Spragg. NZ

These heroes are out there every day. They wear clothing just like us, but what sets them apart is their instinct and lack of hesitation to help people in need.

One such hero is a bus driver from Canada.

Dan Stoddard was driving through his regular route when he reached the intersection of Katimavik and Castlefrank Road at about 1 AM. When he pulled up to a bus shelter, something caught his eye.

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

There was a young woman sitting in the bus shelter. But when the bus arrived, she didn’t seem too interested to hop on.

That’s when Stoddard’s instincts kicked in.

“Once I pulled up she didn’t come out and at one o’clock in the morning when it’s the only bus that drives by and when you’re not coming out, clearly there is something wrong.” Stoddard narrated to CTV News.

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

He asked the woman to get on the bus. If his suspicions were correct, Stoddard thought it was the safest place she could be at that moment.

The woman was half-naked and in distress.

When she boarded the bus, she asked for a phone so she could call for help. With his hunch confirmed, Stoddard contacted transit security so she could be assisted while proper authorities were notified.

Then, he drove his bus to the Eagleson Road “park-and-ride” where his control officer told him to wait.

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

“She said that she had been assaulted physically and verbally”, Stoddard said to the news outlet, “Beyond that it was just a matter of listening to her story, reassuring her, and telling her it wasn’t her fault.”

Stoddard decided to stay with the woman until help arrived.

He parked the bus for a while then asked the other passengers – two male passengers – to head to the back of the bus. Then, he sat opposite the young woman and tried to console her.

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

“From there it was just comforting her and listening to her talk. Just being a human,” Stoddard said to the Ottawa Citizen.

It was humanity at its best. Stoddard got out of his way and became the person this young woman needed at that time. He was someone who cared, someone who reached out, and someone that made a safe environment.

His actions didn’t go unnoticed, however.

One of the passengers, Brendan Fowlie, pulled out his phone and took a picture. The post, containing the context of the whole scene, quickly went viral.

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

For Fowlie, the attention is a long-overdue appreciation for these everyday heroes. Bus drivers not only take us to where we need to be, but they are also community members who care about people.

For Stoddard, however, he insists that none of what he did is heroic.

It’s all part of our basic humanity – that when we see someone in need, we go out there and do what we can.

Flickr - Michael
Source:
Flickr - Michael

“It’s not anything out of the norm. What kind of person am I if I just drive by you and leave you there?” Stoddard said to the Ottawa Citizen. “It’s something that I would inherently do any time of the day, anywhere, and I’ve done it multiple times.”

YouTube Screenshot - CTV News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CTV News

Hopefully, his actions inspire more people to be there for others – as you never know how much of a difference it can make.

Watch how this driver followed his hunch in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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