A True Holland Hero
Many of us might not be familiar with the term "the Bystander Effect." It is a sociological phenomenon the vast majority of us have witnessed before.
Boiled down, it means people are less likely to offer help when others are present or can assume responsibility.
Sadly, the Bystander Effect is a well-documented, highly predictable phenomenon.
However, it is not without its amazing anomalies such as Holland professional driver, John Summers.
On October 19, 2013 John witnessed a vehicle veering off the highway. It went crashing through a guardrail, slid down a steep embankment and disappeared behind the trees.
John immediately safely steered to the side of the road, illuminated his hazards and called the police.
He then decided to descend the embankment to offer assistance to the driver.
John was just approaching the vehicle when a state trooper quickly arrived. They found Jennifer Howdyshell with a broken back and in no condition to help herself.
Her car was all but completely invisible from the road because of the slope of the embankment. This meant other passers-by would likely never see her car.
Fortunately John not only witnessed the accident but also acted to bring help and offer assistance.
"I honestly believe he is my guardian angel," Jennifer wrote.
"I was a complete stranger to him. He had no obligation to stick with me. But, being the wonderful person that he is, he stopped. I will forever be grateful for him."
After her hospital stay, Jennifer called the police to find out the name of her guardian angel so she could offer her sincere thanks.
The two spoke on the phone and even got together for dinner at Jennifer's request. While Jennifer considers John to be quite the hero, John felt there was no other option but for him to offer assistance.
"Somebody needed help," said John. "I was a little leery to go down there, but regardless of who it was, or what their condition, I knew someone was hurt and needed help."
"It was simply the right thing to do," John stated.
John Summers has been driving professionally since 1980. He has been with Holland for nearly 25 years.
He currently operates as a professional linehaul driver out of our Fort Wayne, IN service center from which he makes a 578-mile run, 5 nights a week, to/from Frazier's Bottom, WV.
Humble as he may be, John is a true Holland hero. We are incredibly proud of his actions that night.
We wish Jennifer all our best and a complete recovery.
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