Around 8 p.m. on August 7, Chad Farley, 41, picked up a 28-year-old male from his home in St. Petersburg, Florida. Farley noticed that there was something off about the passenger, and he experienced a different feeling about this man than any other person he had picked up this year.
Farley documented his account of the events on his Facebook page and explained that the two began making small talk once the passenger got in the vehicle. The man revealed to Farley that he had recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, to which Farley spoke out about his mother's battle with cancer.
The Uber driver then noticed that the passenger requested a drop-off point that was right in the middle of the Skyway Bridge, crossing over Tampa Bay. The conversation took a turn when Farley asked the passenger why he wanted to be taken that specific spot.
The man said that he wanted to use one of the emergency phones to call an ambulance to take him to the doctor in Tampa. This peculiar reason led Farley to believe that the passenger was contemplating suicide and might jump off the bridge.
"I took him to the Skyway rest area and talked with him and he assured me that he wasn't going to jump," Farley said. "I could tell he was lying."
Farley then leaned on his faith to convince the passenger not to jump off the bridge.
"I told him how much God, the giver of life loves him …," Farley wrote. "I grabbed his hand which was shaking so badly and prayed for a few minutes with him and he actually began praying once I was done."
Before dropping the man off, Farley asked the passenger to take a selfie. He told the man that it was to remember what he looked like. However, the truth was that Farley intended to send the image to the police after calling 911.
A short time later, officers showed up at 8:30 p.m. after receiving Farley's call and picture.
"Despite pleas from the troopers to return, the man continued into the water and submerged himself," a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol given to PEOPLE reads. "Both Corporal Robert Friesen and Trooper Kristen Middleton then entered the water after him in the dark. After several minutes, the troopers located the man, recovered him and brought him to shore at which point they began CPR until relieved by EMS crews. Transported to Bayfront, the man received advanced medical care and is now listed in critical, but stable condition."0comments
Uber recognized Farley for the gesture and his effective reaction to the situation.
"We deeply appreciate Mr. Farley's quick thinking and compassion for his rider, as well as law enforcement's fast response," an Uber spokesperson said.