In a world thirsting for good news, word of Buffalo bus driver Darnell Barton’s rescue of a distressed woman on a bridge has circled the globe in less than 48 hours and inspired an outpouring of praise, along with several appreciative gift offers.
“Stories like this one help restore one’s faith in the human race,” a reader commented on the website of the British newspaper the Daily Mail.
“We can only wish that there were more people like Mr. Barton,” Russell Wingo, of Benton Harbor, Mich., wrote Wednesday to Buffalo News Staff Reporter Lou Michel after reading his report about Barton on the News website.
“You are an angel!” was one of the reactions on the website of cable TV news network CNN.
Barton’s sister Belinda also added a comment on the CNN site.
“My brother is awesome!!” she wrote. “We are so proud of him. He’s just a good hearted person, and so very humble. He is an everyday hero in our minds and hearts. Thank you all for your kind words. We love him so!”
Barton’s deed also has been recounted by the New York Daily News, the online Huffington Post and scores of radio and television shows. Television newscasts and websites displayed images of the incident captured by the video camera mounted in the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Bus.
They show Barton stopping on the Elmwood Avenue bridge over the Scajaquada Expressway, approaching the woman, who was standing outside the bridge railing, lifting her to safety and then sitting and talking with her on the sidewalk before other help arrived.
Along with praise, some wanted to express their admiration to Barton in other ways.
A local reader offered him dinner for four at Chef’s Restaurant and four tickets to a Buffalo Sabres hockey game. Others offered cash.
“I would like to give a financial gift to Mr. Barton in appreciation for his incredible character and humility and thoughtfulness for other human beings,” a woman in Texas said in an email to Michel. “Those are rare qualities in this day and age. Do you know how I could go about doing that?”
Boys and leaders from a North Tonawanda Cub Scout pack took the initiative and set up a page to accept donations for Barton on a fundraising website at www.gofundme.com/513n60.
“We here at Cub Pack 185 understand the importance of helping others and doing a good deed,” the Scouts proclaim on the site. “We feel that Darnell should get praised for his actions ... Let’s all show him support and let him know that what he did won’t go overlooked. He deserves a vacation or a nice dinner for being a good citizen!”