STOCKTON (CBS13) — Call him an accidental angel: a Stockton man was driving to work when he says a woman intentionally walked in front of his car on the highway.
It’s a trip Adam Barbour’s made a thousand times, heading west on Highway 4, but this particular trip to work was far from ordinary. “When I was coming this way I saw kind of like a figure,” Barbour said. He quickly realized that the figure was a person.
He said a homeless woman purposely crossed two lanes of traffic on Highway 4 and stood there waiting for him to hit her with his car. Barbour slammed on his breaks and stopped just inches from the woman.
He said the woman then climbed on the hood of his car and kept telling him to kill her. Barbour told CBS13 the woman then got off his car only to stand in front of a semi-truck which veered out of the way.
In hopes of stopping the woman from jumping in front of another vehicle, Barbour grabbed her and held her against a cement median for at least a minute, until help arrived. He said 60 seconds that felt more like 60 minutes.
“There was a lot of adrenaline and all I could think was to really stop her from going back into traffic,” Barbour said.
CHP detained the woman who later willingly went to medics on the scene for treatment.
“From a general standpoint, I think it’s really commendable to see a Good Samaritan to try to save a life and actually succeed,” Tony Vartan, director of the San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services, said.
Vartan said when it comes to mental health and homelessness, the two sometimes go hand in hand. He told CBS13 that roughly a quarter of the homeless population in the county has a self-identified behavioral health need which is on par with the state average. But identifying these needs isn’t the hard part.
“I would say the biggest challenge is once we identify those with behavioral health needs and wrap services around individuals is to have some sort of housing that will actually maintain them,” Vartan said.
That’s something Barbour says he hopes will be available to the woman he saved.
“I’m just glad she’s okay and hopefully she’s being evaluated,” Barbour said,