PHILADELPHIA – Last week, a powerful and rare derecho rolled over Philadelphia bringing damaging winds that downed trees, knocked out power for thousands and killed four people.
Among the destruction, 60 MPH winds gusts knocked a tractor-trailer onto its side the Girard Point Bridge.
Luckily, two passing motorists sprung into action to help the driver who was trapped inside with his pet dog.
First to arrive on the scene was Wysem Irby, who is coincidentally a tractor-trailer driver in training. Irby rushed to the side of the truck and saw the door hanging off and heard the distressed truck driver cry out in fear for his life.
“I just promised him I wouldn’t leave, I’m not going to go, I’m not going to leave, I’m going to stay right here with you the whole time,” Irby said.
Irby’s rescue attempt received some back-up when Philadelphia-based surgeon Dr. Adam Strohl pulled to the side of the road. At first, the strong wind made it impossible for Strohl to open his car door.
“There was a small lull in the wind and I said ‘I’m going now!'” Strohl said.
Irby flagged down another passing tractor-trailer and climbed on top, which gave him the boost necessary to pull out the driver’s dog and the driver.
Cell phone video after the rescue shows Irby and the rescued truck driver embrace in a hug amid the whipping wind.
“We just held each other and embraced each other, because that’s what we needed.”
Looking back, the rescue seems death-defying, but that didn’t prevent Irby from stopping to help his fellow man.
“We’re all humans we all feel emotion, we all laugh we all cry but when you put color on that it gets blurry,” Irby said. “I didn’t see any color I saw a human being.”