It was horrifying. Ottawa bus driver Dan Stoddard couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was 1 o’clock in the morning when he saw a woman sitting at a bus stop. He pulled the bus over, but the woman didn’t get on. He knew something was wrong. If it’s 1 a.m., there’s not going to be another bus for a while, and to not get on it — Stoddard knew he had to do something.
He got out of the bus and noticed the woman was half-naked. He stopped to speak with her. The woman revealed that she had been physically and verbally assaulted. She was fleeing a domestic violence situation. Stoddard told the woman it wasn’t her fault and that he would help her. There were only two men in the bus, and Stoddard told them to kindly move to the back to give him and the distressed woman some space. He called the police, and stayed with the woman until they arrived. Then the kind bus driver finished his route. One of the passengers, Brendan Fowlie, took a photo of Stoddard comforting the woman, and the image quickly went viral.
“Do I know what happened specifically? No I don’t. Did she need help? Yes she did,” Stoddard said. “I helped with what I was able to help with. I didn’t go above and beyond, I did what every human should do.”
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