“I couldn’t let that girl die.”
47-year-old Matthew Howard Sr. was enjoying a summer day at a New York amusement park with his daughter, Leeann Winchell, when they heard frantic screams cutting through the air. He looked up to see a young girl hanging off of a slow-moving gondola ride, more that 25 feet above the concrete footpath they were walking on.
Holding on for dear life, the girl’s little brother clung to the fabric of her shirt crying hysterically for help, saying that he couldn’t hold on any longer.
Howard and his daughter sprinted over to the hysterical siblings and positioned themselves below the little girl dangling in the sky. ‘It’s ‘OK! It’s OK to let go, I’ll catch you, honey. I’m not going to let you fall,'” said Howard.
A crowd began to gather when suddenly the little girl fell and slammed into Howard’s body, knocking him to the ground. A host of good Samaritans picked the girl up and rushed her to a waiting ambulance while a bruised Howard was helped to his feet by a thankful and relieved crowd.
The 14-year-old girl from Greenwood, Delaware, was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition with no serious injuries, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said.
The scene was caught on video by Loren Lent, from Glenville. He said Sunday that his 10-year-old daughter and wife had also been on the ride and watched from high above as the girl fell, ‘My daughter was just traumatized. She was crying for about half an hour.’
Officials inspected the ride and said it was in proper working order. The park said in a statement that the safety of guests is a top priority.
No matter how safe we try and make our surroundings, life can be over in an instant. This post is not meant to highlight the dangers inherent in life, but the courageousness of everyday people that step up when they are needed most.
The footage below may be disturbing to some readers, but it’s a moment of human kindness and heroism that’s too good not to share. Check it out in the video below!
Share for everyday heroes everywhere.