A stranded motorist on a snowy highway Thursday afternoon got help from an unexpected source: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Noach Fisher, a Pupa Chassid from Williamsburg, and his nephew were driving along the Taconic State Parkway to Pupa Yeshiva in Westchester, at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, in the midst of a snowstorm, Fisher said in a phone interview with Hamodia. Fisher was driving a minivan, and his nephew was driving a sedan.
Suddenly, a motorist in front of them made a short stop; Fisher’s nephew had to stop short as well, and found himself stuck in a snowy ditch.
Fisher then got behind the wheel of his nephew’s car and tried to pull out, but was unable to.
“A New York state trooper was behind me,” said Fisher. “He started trying to pull me out, but couldn’t. Then, we saw a HELP truck passing [NYS Department of Transportation HELP trucks drive on highways to assist stranded motorists]; the truck also tried to help, and he was able to pull me out just a little bit.”
It was 30 minutes after the sedan first got stuck, with the situation not much improved, when three SUVs driving on the highway pulled over.
A passenger in one of the SUVs rolled down the window and asked Fisher, “Do you need help?”
Pointing to the state trooper and the HELP truck, Fisher said, “I already have help.” But the stranger in the SUV insisted, “Let me help you.”
He exited the car and tied the chain from his SUV to the sedan. “The man was under my car and working for 15 minutes, tying the chain, pressing the buttons, instructing me ‘turn right,’ ‘turn left,’ ” said Fisher. Finally, at around 3:45, he succeeded in freeing the car.
Throughout the time they were working to free the car, Fisher saw people from the other SUVs, including security personnel, standing around and snapping photos.
“I had no idea why,” recalled Fisher.
Finally, after the car was freed, Fisher turned to the helpful stranger.
“Thank you. What’s your name?”
“You’re kidding me?!”
Fisher, who says he never uses internet or social media, did not believe that the man who had been under his car in the snow for 15 minutes was none other than New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Fisher asked the trooper if the man was the governor; the trooper replied in the affirmative, and Fisher exclaimed, “I don’t believe it!”
Finally, Fisher’s nephew snapped a photo of the man and sent it to a friend, who indeed confirmed the governor’s identity.
Later, Cuomo’s chief of staff, Melissa DeRosa, posted photos of the incident on social media, and Fisher’s phone started blowing up. “I’ve had 300 friends call me in the past hour-and-a-half,” he told Hamodia. He was perhaps the only person in New York that had still not yet seen the photos.
The unsuspecting motorist told Hamodia he would just like to thank the governor for stopping and assisting him.