Tx. Man Helps Over 140 Stranded Drivers During Winter Storm Uri: ‘Put Yourself in Their Shoes’
A Texas man who nearly died in a car accident is using his second chance at life for good by rescuing 145 drivers who became stranded during winter storm Uri.
Ryan Sivley said he didn’t hesitate to help when he spotted hundreds of drivers in need on the side of the icy roads in Austin, ABC affiliate KVUE reported.
Using his vehicles, which are all four-wheel drive, Sivley managed to rescue a total of 98 cars on Monday and another 47 cars on Tuesday — all without asking for anything in return, according to the outlet.
“Well, put yourself in their shoes,” he told KVUE. “If you were sitting on the side of the road with your wife and your kids and you’re freezing in the car, and it’s not running and you don’t have anywhere to go and you don’t have anyone to call, what do you do?”
“I’ve seen wreckers turning people away because they won’t pull them out due to liability,” Sivley continued. “You need to stay in your car and just freeze to death? If I was in that spot, I would beg and hope that somebody would help me. So that’s what I’m doing.”
Sivley said he was inspired to help others after shattering his pelvic bone and nearly dying in a bad car accident on March 1, KVUE reported.
“Well, I got hit by a few cars and a Harley,” he explained to the outlet. “I can’t do more than 20 pounds on my left arm and I can’t walk for more than two hours a day. So, I can drive a truck — it’s pretty simple.”
After winter storm Uri hit the Austin area, Sivley saw an opportunity to use his truck for good.
“I’ve been helping anybody I find the side of the road,” he told KVUE. “I do a lot of off-roading with different groups in Austin, so I had recovery straps and chains.”
“[All] I’ve been doing is pulling people off the road and giving people safe rides,” he added.
Some of those rides, Sivley said, included transporting patients from Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center to their homes, and helping stranded nurses get to their destinations.
Other trips have involved driving people around the community to find a safe and warm location with working utilities after millions lost power in the wake of the storm.
“Usually, they give me something like five or 10 bucks for gas, but, you know, everybody is really happy,” Sivley explained to KVUE. “A lot of people really have no electricity or water.”
Jill Ventimiglia said she was one of the people Sivley rescued from the roads, and she expressed her gratitude in a lengthy Facebook post.
“Austinites, today was not a fun day. It was so scary but an angel Ryan Sivley saved me and 98 other people from being stranded in the road,” she wrote. “He towed me and my car all the way to my parents’ house!! IF HE WASN’T THERE I WOULD STILL BE STUCK ON THE ROAD.”
Ventimiglia explained that she was on her way to her parents’ house — just a few miles away from her home — after she had lost water but became trapped alongside 50 other cars.
There was no phone service and no way of getting help — until Sivley arrived, her post explained.
“Once we got to my parents’ house I gave Ryan money, sandwiches and water,” she explained. “He is a true human being and needs to be compensated for his act of kindness.”
In a separate post, where she provided Sivley’s Venmo account, Ventimiglia wrote, “While he isn’t asking for donations, I am begging you to give him at least $50-$100 to help you out. He is truly the kindest soul for doing this for everyone.”
Sivley told KVUE he is willing to help anyone in need — regardless of the time of day — and that they can reach him at (512) 696-5965.
“This is all I’m doing, just helping out wherever I can,” he told the outlet. “I’m not asking you for anything. If someone helps with a few dollars for gas, that’s great.”