A bus operator from Tri Delta Transit has been formally recognized and called a hero for her vigilance in helping to bring a missing Brentwood man back home to his family.
Becky Vanderpool — a Pittsburg resident who has worked for Tri Delta Transit since 2006 — has always represented the agency well, according to her supervisors, but her quick thinking went above and beyond in October.
Dirk Burton, a 20-year-old autistic man from Brentwood, went missing after he was last seen at the Safeway store on Brentwood’s Second Street Oct. 28.
A few days later, Vanderpool was on her route in Bay Point when she saw him.
“I was waiting to pull from 380 eastbound, and he was pacing back and forth,” she said. “I recognized him from one of the posts that he was missing.”
She approached Burton, asked him if he lived in Brentwood and if he’d been missing, and he said yes. After telling him his family was worried and people were looking for him, she asked him to get on the bus. He said he didn’t have any money, but she told him not to worry about it.
“I called my dispatcher and let them know to call Brentwood PD,” Vanderpool said. “To let him know that I had him on the bus.”
She brought him to Los Medanos College, where Brentwood police were waiting, and he was brought back home to his family.
Vanderpool says she was just doing her job.
“I don't think I did anything special,” she said. “I didn't do anything that any one of us drivers wouldn't have done. It's like we're pretty much the eyes of the city out there.”
At the Tri Delta Transit board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 11, District 3 Supervisor and Tri Delta Transit board member Diane Burgis and representatives from the offices of Sen. Steve Glazer and Rep. Jerry McNerney recognized Vanderpool, calling her a hero.
“Everywhere I go, I see our bus drivers all over the place, and they are doing all the right things,” said Burgis. “So when I heard this story, I said, ‘Of course. This is what we do.’”
“It is wonderful to see one of our operators recognized for their astounding work,” added Tri Delta Transit CEO Jeanne Krieg.