RTA driver who saved suicidal woman honored by Gov. Kasich

In his state of the state address Tuesday night, Gov. John Kasich honored a Dayton bus driver who saved a woman's life.

Kasich continued his tradition of handing out Governor’s Courage Awards. This year, honorees included Dayton RTA bus driver Damone Hudson, who earlier this year pulled over his bus to talk a suicidal woman off the ledge of a bridge.

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A security camera on the bus caught Hudson's "quiet act of compassion" and it went viral, Kasich said. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK(8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org)

“Everyone’s going through something. Even if you are, just reach out and try to touch someone, even if it’s in a small way,” Hudson said in an interview last month.

Credit: Ron Schwane

Credit: Ron Schwane

Bus surveillance video recorded what Hudson said when he was first speaking to the woman. “Why don’t we come back over on the side of the rail? … Hey miss, why don’t we come back on this side of the rail for me?” The video didn’t capture what else Hudson said to the woman after he stepped off the bus, but he told News Center 7’s Natalie Jovonovich about his intervention.

“ ‘Ma’am, you look like you’re having a bad day, you know. Can I give you a hug?’ And it was just anything to get her to come back over on the other side of the rail,” he said.

Someone else called for help, and Hudson kept talking to the woman until a Dayton Police Department crisis intervention specialist arrived.

“There is not a right or wrong approach to that,” Dayton police detective Patty Tackett said. It’s about drawing from personal knowledge and experiences in those instances. “He did a great job, and again I think it goes with our gut instincts.”

The Breaking News Team contributed to this report.

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