PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Taking time to listen and understand someone else’s personal pain is not something Uber drivers are necessarily required to do.
But, Chad Farley did, and he wound up saving the life of a stranger.
You could describe this story as simply compassion behind the wheel.
“The Bible says a broken spirit, we can bear that, and that’s what he was, a broken spirit,” said Farley.
He described what took place inside his car saying, “This guy was obviously in trouble. He was obviously in trouble. This guy was just told that ‘you got brain cancer.’”
He said the late night rider asked to be dropped off at the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The peak of the span sits about 200 feet above the dark Gulf waters.
Instead, Farley pulled into the Skyway’s North Pier parking area. He said that’s where he began to pray with his passenger.
“What surprised me is when I completed my prayer, he started praying, but his prayer was very awkward. Jumbled,” Farley said. “He didn’t know what to say, but it was like he was trying. Talk about a broken spirit, you know?”
Before the man got out, Farley made a very smart decision.
“Then I said ‘you know what? I want to remember you. Can I take a picture?'”
“I took the picture and he gave me a peace sign and I gave him a smile,” said Farley.
As the troubled young man walked towards the water, Farley called 911. Within minutes, two Florida Highway Patrol Officers arrived and he showed them the photo for identification.
Moments later, both troopers spotted the man in the water and jumped in to save him.
Farley said he firmly believes everyone was in the right place at the right time by the grace of God.
“Like a chess piece…a chess board. He put everybody in their place to do His will and as an end result the guy is alive. That’s it. You know!”
Chad Farley said he hopes to reconnect with his passenger and potentially become life-long friends.
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