Motorists on the Pennsylvania Turnpike banded together and formed a human chain to rescue a truck driver whose semi was about to go over an embankment.
Arlyn Satanek, a trucker who witnessed the incident Friday, said the truck in front of him was clearly having difficulty on the snow-covered road east of Bedford and it soon began smoking and shooting off debris.
“At that point I was on my brakes with everything I had and hoping I didn’t lose control,” Satanek told WTAE-TV. “I saw the truck out in front of me pretty much finishing his wipe out and cutting of the entire two lanes of traffic and angling down over the cliff.”
Satanek said the driver appeared to be trapped in the cab of the vehicle as it teetered on the edge.
“I’m sitting there in a daze, and I realize people are running to the truck,” Satanek told WPXI-TV.
Satanek said the motorists didn’t appear to be concerned for their own safety.
“It was just like everyone knew in that moment we have to reach him, ‘Let’s lock into this and get this guy up.’ It was awesome,” Satanek said. “I decided I knew they had him, and I wanted to get a picture, I want to remember this.”
He said the rescuers formed a human shield to reach the driver and pull him to safety.
“To me, it just looked like this spontaneous, instinctive thing, that everyone just started hooking their arms together,” Satanek said. “It was absolutely amazing.”
He said the truck driver was back on his feet after a few minutes.
Satanek said he was amazed by what he witnessed.
“It helped remind us that we are all people, and it is our responsibility to help other humans,” Satanek said.
“I don’t know any of their names, what their faces looked like. I can only say they made a terrible situation a little bit better by helping someone out that was really in need,” he said.
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