BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4 has been hearing a growing number of stories of people stepping up to help others during the height of the blizzard. One South Buffalo man rescued an essential worker who was stuck in his car.
Patrick McDonald described his experience as “horrifying,” and thought he wasn’t going to see his wife or kids again.
McDonald, 70, is an engineer at Sister’s Hospital. He was on his way into work Saturday morning, driving from West Seneca. He said once he hit South Buffalo, conditions became impossible to drive in, and his car got stuck on South Park Avenue.
“I couldn’t go anywhere, there’s cars and trucks scattered everywhere,” he said.
Several people came across his car, including Kevin Zgoda.
“I felt like I would help him out like I would hope someone would help me out in this situation,” Zgoda said.
They shoveled his car out, but it ended up getting stuck again.
“There were sand dunes of drifts 8 foot high going through south park avenue. That’s how bad it was,” McDonald said.
That’s when Zgoda told McDonald he could stay with him at his home off McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo. They walked several blocks in the blizzard and made it to the home around 1:30 Christmas morning.
“I was exhausted. I mean I was so frozen, so stressed out, I told Kevin, “I can’t make it down Tift street, I gotta stop.’ I had to stop 4 times,” McDonald recounted.
McDonald stayed with Zgoda and his family for two and a half days while waiting for the roads to clear, until he was finally able to make it back to his wife and kids.
“I’m just glad he’s safe, considering all the tragedies we did have, and knowing how easily that could’ve been one,” Zgoda said. “Maybe if I didn’t show up who knows if someone else could’ve been there.”
“He’ll be a friend of mine and I’ll cherish him forever,” McDonald said. “We’ll never forget them, and we’re going to get together with them when it warms up and celebrate the time when they took care of me, and show them appreciation for what they’ve done for us.”
McDonald said he is forever grateful.