After the recent ice storms, cold snaps, melting floodwaters, wet monsoons or whatever else we were hit by this past month in Toronto, there are countless stories to be told of people helping people. (In many ways it’s a repeat of the storm-related kindnesses I wrote about in July – except that this time, failed air conditioning does not factor into the tale).
One of the most comforting stories is the one about John Friesen, who was stranded in his pickup truck for almost 24 hours on a rural road near Leamington, Ontario, while the temperature plummeted to -25 Celsius. (That’s -13 for you Fahrenheiters.) John is 70 and has a disability, so after his truck got in a snowbank, he couldn’t exactly hike out for help. It didn’t take long for his vehicle to become buried in drifting snow – and for the neighbours to assume the driver had gotten out safely, and left the truck behind.
In reality, John had been reported missing, and police had been searching for him fruitlessly all night long. That’s when the manager of the city’s public works department got involved. He gave his snowplow drivers a description of the missing man and vehicle, and these crews joined in the search. “They know the less travelled roads,” a police spokesperson explained to CBC News.
It paid off. A snowplow driver spotted the truck, so covered in snow that only its taillight was visible. John was inside – awake and alert, pretty darn cold, but presumably delighted to be rescued. “It’s a fortunate ending to something that could have been tragic,” the police spokesperson said.