A Lyft driver and his passenger were in the right place at the right time recently, and ended up helping save a suicidal man.
Zachary Laxton has been a Lyft driver in the Portland area for about a year and a half now and estimates he’s made about 2,200 trips.
But one of his trips last week turned out unlike any he’s been on before.
“Me and a passenger were driving over the bridge and we noticed a man like walking towards us on the bridge,” Laxton said. “And then he got up on the railing and we drove past him and we were kind of just in shock.”
Laxton immediately pulled over and called 911.
“I mean, he was looking down and in my mind, he was contemplating it,” Laxton recalled. “He said that he was just going to jump head-first and end it all.”
Laxton’s passenger was able to talk the man down. Police showed up not long after.
“I’ve never had that experience before,” Laxton said. “It doesn’t feel real until it happens, until you see it in person or someone you know attempts it or does it.”
The Lyft driver says he was simply in the right place at the right time – and with the right person.
“Having the passenger with me gave me the confidence to do it and I don’t know if I would’ve stopped without her,” he said.
After his experience, Laxton is encouraging others to reach out to anyone you know who’s struggling.
“Just as a society, mental health is definitely an issue and there’s a stigma on it and there shouldn’t be,” he said. “Just letting someone know that you care and you’re there for them is a really big deal.”
Lyft was made aware of what happened on the trip. The company says it is giving a $500 donation to a suicide prevention organization.