ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Two women are alive and safe after an unexpected helper came to their rescue during Tuesday’s snowstorm. A central Virginia lawmaker was in the right place at the right time to assist the women when their car slid off a road in Albemarle County.
5th District Congressman Denver Riggleman was headed out of town when he saw the car on the side of the road. However, he decided at that moment helping someone else out was more important than where he was going.
It's not hard to lose control while driving on an icy road when it's snowing. That's exactly what happened to two women Tuesday on Gordonsville Road - thankfully, an unexpected "first responder" came to the rescue.
"To my surprise, it was actually Congressman Denver Riggleman that was out there in his suit with his congressional pin on,” Daniel Cleveland, who witnessed the event, said.
Riggleman says he was on his way to Washington D.C. when he passed by the car. "I'm like that's odd, why isn’t anybody with them so I pulled over and went down there and she was quite shaken up and said nobody would stop to help them.”
The small purple PT Cruiser was carrying two older women, a mother with dementia and her daughter. The car ended up at a 45-degree angle in a deep ditch. One woman was stuck in the car.
"I even called 9-1-1 they said they didn't have any emergency vehicles for non-injury accidents,” Riggleman said.
Cleveland, who also stopped to assist, says he left when he found out there were no injuries, but then something told him to go back. When he arrived, he saw a few more people helping out. "Three other citizens had stopped to help and the three other citizens, they actually had a pickup truck and they had a 15-20 foot chain that the father and the son I believe, it was it son, they hooked the chain up."
The men managed to pull the car from out of the ditch and it's a moment none of them will ever forget.
"The fact that we pulled her out there were a lot of tears a lot of emotion and a lot of happiness for everybody because she was quite worried about her mother,” Riggleman said.
The people helping out did not know the women or get their names, but they felt that was not important and are glad everyone was safe. One fun fact, Riggleman says he didn’t even get his suit dirty.