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UTA operator saves suicidal teen

By Caitlin Burchill, KSL TV | Posted - Jan 31st, 2019 @ 7:39am


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KAYSVILLE — Shelly Monson has seen her fair share as a UTA operator. In August, someone shot the bus she was driving in Fruit Heights.

“I like working with people. I like working with the public. I love my job. It’s had some trials, but I love it,” the Roy resident said.

But what happened Wednesday will forever have a special place in her heart: Monson saved the life of a suicidal teenager during her shift. The situation happened on her drive northbound on I-15, after her morning Ogden-to-Salt Lake City shift.

“When I got to about the Kaysville exit, I saw somebody walking on the freeway by the overpass of 200 North, and that’s not normal,” she said, speaking about the teenager.

When Shelly saw the teen lift a leg over the overpass barrier, “I cut freeway traffic in my staff car, and threw it in park.” The mother of five knew she had to do something.

“I hooked her leg and her arm and I said, ‘Please don’t, please don’t,’ and I got her down, and I held her until the cops got there,” she said.

The unforgettable, split-second act during her shift will sit with Monson forever.

“Suicide is really deep to me,” she said with tears in her eyes. “No child should die ever. I’ve buried a child with SIDS. I buried another child with my husband from a car accident. My nephew committed suicide four years ago. No parents should bury a child ever.”

Those who know Monson aren’t surprised by her quick actions.

“That’s just mom; that’s my mom. I wouldn’t expect any more, any less,” Monson’s son, Justin, said.

“Just the fact that she was observant and vigilant enough to see what was going on,” her manager Andreas Colman said. “She’s a hero in my book.”

Monson, though, said she was "just doing what God would want me to do."

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, help is always available at the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, KSL encourages you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Crisis Hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources

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Caitlin Burchill

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