'They all just came together to help a little old lady and I appreciate it so, so much,' said Laurie Rabyor, who had a 'medical episode' on the road.
A group of good Samaritans is being hailed heroes after they rushed into traffic to help a driver who lost control of her car while experiencing a "medical episode" on the road. The dramatic video footage of the rescue quickly went viral after it was shared by the Boynton Beach Police Department in Florida on Wednesday. According to the post—which shows a gray vehicle rolling at an angle into a busy intersection—a co-worker of the vehicle's driver happened to be in a nearby car and noticed her colleague slumped over the steering wheel. The woman ran out of her car and waved for help. Several people immediately got out of their cars and worked to stop the rolling vehicle.
At a time when the world is so full of grim news, check out the video from Florida of a bunch of people rushing into traffic to work together to help a woman who fell unconscious behind the wheel. https://t.co/XaIMX8ko3X— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) May 16, 2022
Once the vehicle was brought to a stop, one of those who rushed to help grabbed a dumbbell from her car, which another person used to smash one of the vehicle's rear windows. "Another man then climbed through the window to unlock the passenger's side door," the police department said on Facebook. "The car was then put in park and the Good Samaritans pushed it to a nearby 7-Eleven parking lot where a nurse who was on the phone with 911 provided medical attention until the fire department (arrived)."
A week after the incident, the Boynton Beach Police Department recognized Jannette Rivera, Juan Chavez Jr., Michael Edelstein, David Formica, DaVida Peele, Marko Bartolone, Muriel Vaughns and Robin Fox for their timely efforts to save the unconscious driver, Laurie Rabyor. All of them were honored for their service, quick thinking and courage at a press conference Friday where they had a chance to speak about the incident. "I saw a lady chasing a car through an intersection in South Florida... and I thought, 'Wow, she’s really mad at that other lady!'" said Bartolone, reports TODAY. However, he soon figured out what was happening.
"I thought, 'I really can't stop a car.' But then I see Chavez... and I thought, well, with a couple of people, we could probably stop the car," he recalled. "I feel like I just did what anyone would do." Edelstein, who at the press conference identified himself as "the fool that jumped in front of the car and then tried to punch the window out," said: "I'm stunned to be standing here. I was in the right place at the right time."
"I don't remember any of it," Rabyor said on Friday. "They all just came together to help a little old lady and I appreciate it so, so much... It is so wonderful to see something nice today instead of all this crap that's going on in the world and even in our community... It's so nice to see something nice." Rivera, the co-worker who saw Rabyor slumped over her steering wheel, said that she just "tried to do my best" to help her colleague. Every one of those who came to Rabyor's aid was awarded a Royal Caribbean cruise and a $2,000 gift card, plus flowers. "Teamwork, perfect strangers just coming together, and what a beautiful thing it was to see...," Formica noted. "All you have to do is just open your eyes and be aware of all the amazing things happening around us."