National News

Heroic tales of bravery from the winter storm to warm your heart

Posted January 6, 2018 9:23 a.m. EST

— Ryan Saba and Ray Armstead went out into the winter storm to grab a bite to eat.

They came back with a nickname: "The Heroes of Bridgewater."

The two friends rescued a couple in their 60s who were stuck in a vehicle as a train bore down on them. And their rescue was just one of a number of heroic stories to warm our hearts in the midst of this desperately cold winter storm.

From the heroes of Bridgewater to an icy water rescue, here's a look at some great moments of humanity amid Mother Nature's wrath.

The heroes of Bridgewater

Two friends who were out to get a bite to eat in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, on Thursday happened upon a vehicle stuck right in the middle of commuter rail tracks belonging to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

With all of the snow and ice, the vehicle was spinning out and unable to move from its position on the train tracks. The friends, Ray Armstead and Ryan Saba, then heard the sounds of an oncoming train.

So they jumped out of their truck and went to try to pull the stuck vehicle's passengers, a couple in their 60s, out of danger, according to CNN affiliate WBZ. They were able to get the couple out of harm's way in the nick of time.

"They were unaware that the train was even coming. If we weren't there, something bad probably would have happened," Armstead said.

The speeding train crushed the disabled vehicle, tossing it into nearby gates and a control shed exposing live wires, Bridgewater Police said. Nobody was injured.

Bridgewater Police praised the good Samaritans as the "heroes of Bridgewater," and Saba and Armstead told their story at a news conference Friday.

"Well done, gentlemen," police said.

'I was going under'

The town of Scituate in Massachusetts saw particularly harsh snow, ice and flooding from the storm. Waves almost claimed Scituate Harbormaster Stephen Mone as a victim when he fell into the icy water while on the dock, WBZ reported.

"I was picturing my kids, and I didn't have much time left," Mone said. "If he was another minute, I was going under."

That "he" refers to Stephan Hill, the general manager of the nearby Mill Wharf Restaurant and Pub. Hill was checking in on the restaurant when he looked out the window and saw Mone slip into the waters, WBZ said.

Hill rushed over through frigid, knee-high water and helped pull Mone out to safety, saving his life.

"He grabbed me and I pulled my leg up on the dock," Mone said.

Hill was humble about the incident -- "anyone would have done the same thing," he told WBZ -- but the rescue earned him praise from the Massachusetts governor.

"It takes a lot of guts in the midst of a storm to run out on to a pier like that and do what you did," Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The bus push

Karen Clauson, 46, was born and raised in East Boston. But until Thursday, she had never seen this before.

Clauson told CNN that an MBTA bus on Thursday became stuck in the snow on her street, with its tires spinning but going nowhere. Her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend went out in the snow with a group of neighbors to try to help dig out the bus and get it moving again.

Clauson took out her camera and started filming as the neighbors began to push the bus into motion, she said. The bus didn't go that far -- it came to rest in a snow bank on the opposite side of the street -- but the group push allowed traffic to come through the street.

More importantly, Clauson said, the feat represented the best of her neighborhood, also known as "Eastie."

"This is what we do, this is what Eastie is about," Clauson said. "We can complain and say things, but when push comes to shove, we get out and help."

Trapped in the snow

Lou Maccarone is a healthy 88-year-old, so he ventured outside his home in Spencerport, in upstate New York, to shovel his walkway.

But at the bottom of the steps to his driveway, he lost his balance in the storm and fell, CNN affiliate WHAM reported.

"I really didn't black out or nothing. It was just, 'Oh my God. Bada-boom,' and I went back!" he said.

He struggled up the steps and made it to the landing of his home, but couldn't go any farther. So he lay there in the snow, hoping for help and wondering if this was the end.

"Lord, if this is my time, do me a favor and give me a heart attack and kill me right now. If it's not my time yet, give me an angel," he said, WHAM reported.

After more than an hour, his rescuer arrived. Kayleigh Storms, an appropriately named home health aide who cares for Maccarone's wife, spotted Maccarone covered in snow and rushed to his aid. She called 911 and covered him with blankets, and they moved him back inside for warmth.

Once he warmed up, Maccarone was fine. And thankful.

"My guardian angel," Maccarone told WHAM. "She saved my life, she saved my life."