On his regular morning commute from Pickering to Union Station three weeks ago, Ryerson University student Aeron Soosaipillai happened to glance out the GO train window and noticed a man teetering on the side of a rail bridge over St.Clair Avenue East.
The sight gave him a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"No one can just be chilling there like that," said Soosaipillai, recalling what was going through his mind at the time as he received a safety award from Metrolinx Thursday at its headquarters on Front Street West.
As the train pulled into the Scarborough GO station that day, Soosaipillai says he got the sense he was the only passenger to notice the man, so he burst out of his seat.
"The doors took a while to open and when they did I ran down the platform toward him. I took off my bag and my jacket walked across the tracks and started talking to him," he said.
The man did not want to talk, Soosaipillai said. Instead, the man swore at him and continued edging farther away toward the middle of the bridge.
Soosaipillai kept talking to the visibly distraught man.