Bus driver Shelly Monson was honored by the Utah Transit Authority on Wednesday for her quick thinking in saving the life of a teen attempting to jump off a bridge. Monson thanked the board members for not being upset that she took such a chance in traffic.
Two weeks ago, Monson, a bus driver with the UTA, was returning from delivering a bus to Salt Lake City when she spotted someone walking on the highway, near a bridge in Kaysville. “I saw a leg go up on the barrier,” she said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. “I flew across traffic and I parked the [UTA] car.”
The bus driver then ran towards the teen in distress. “It felt like my feet weighed 5,000 pounds,” Monson recounted. “I ran as fast as I could screaming, ‘Please don’t, please don’t.’ When I got to her, I hooked her arm and her leg. And I held her.”
Monson pulled the 15-year-old girl back from over the bridge railing, and the teen started to cry for her mother. Monson said, “I just held her and let her cry on my chest because I have children that age.”
Another motorist pulled over and phoned the police. When officers arrived, Monson started to walk away when the highway patrol officer ran to catch up with her to get her information and her story.
The incident has stayed with Monson, who, nearly four years ago, lost her nephew to suicide. She is a bit shocked by being treated as a hero. “I don’t do things for recognition,” she said. “I just do it because it is what God would want us to do. You should just be a good person to everyone, because everyone is important.”
For those struggling, she offered sage advice: “Find someone to talk to. Get it out. Don’t hold it inside because that’s where it eats at you. If you can’t find anybody, look me up on Facebook because I will talk to you.”
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.