Uber Drivers Save Lives

A photo of a car with an Uber sign in the passenger-side window.

Photo credit: MikeDotta / Shutterstock

Despite all the bad press Uber has been receiving lately, its drivers are a completely different matter.

Florida Uber driver Chris Farley recently picked up a young male passenger who told him about being diagnosed with brain cancer. Because Farley’s own mother died of the disease, the two were able to discuss it throughout the ride.

Then Farley realized their destination was the middle of the Skyway Bridge, known in Tampa Bay as a common suicide location.

“So I asked him where he was going,” Farley says. “He gave me the weirdest story that was not even close to being believable.”

Though the passenger assured Farley he wasn’t going to commit suicide, Farley called 911 as soon as he let his passenger out. When the police arrived on the scene, the young man jumped off the bridge, but officials were able to pull him out and get him to the hospital for treatment.

“That was definitely my last passenger for the night,” Farley wrote later on his Facebook page.

It’s not the first time an Uber driver has performed an act of heroism. Back in December of last year, Keith Avila of Sacramento, California took on three female passengers, two older women and one younger woman. The older women spent the ride instructing their charge on how to treat “John” at their hotel destination, noting that she should “pat him down for weapons while hugging him” and “get the donation from him” before anything happened.

Suspicions aroused by the chatter, Avila called the police as soon as he dropped off his passengers.

Several minutes later, officers arrived and arrested Destiny Pettway and Maria Westley, who were pimping out the younger woman, a runaway who was sent to temporary housing while her parents were located. Avila caught the scene with the police on camera for a Facebook Live stream, which has since been viewed by more than 119,000 people.

“The worst thing I thought would happen when driving Uber is that I would be getting drunk passengers, and I would have to handle them,” Avila said. “All my life, I thought about people throwing up in the car as the worst scenario.”

A local Uber representative contacted Avila to thank him for his service.

While the company may be under fire, there’s no denying that Uber drivers, at least, are out there doing the right thing.

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