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'Selfless' strangers dig vehicle out of snow in Bryce Canyon

(Eric Hannan)


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GARFIELD COUNTY — A group of strangers banded together to help a pregnant woman and her family get their vehicle out of a snowy ditch in Bryce Canyon and a Minnesota man, touched by the incident, documented the experience.

Eric Hannan began traveling around the U.S. in an RV around nine months ago. Hannan said he and his wife run a blog and decided to start a business doing social media advertising for RV companies during their travels. The couple was sightseeing in Bryce Canyon Sunday when they saw a vehicle had slid off the road and was stuck in a snow bank.

“(I was) born and raised in Minnesota, and we used to whip doughnuts in the snow and go in the ditch for things to do in our small town,” Hannan said. “I’m so experienced with getting out of ditches.”

Hannan said there was a man, a pregnant woman and a 2-year-old child inside the stuck vehicle and he pulled over to help them. Before long, another car stopped and two men from Israel, who were touring the U.S., also came to help, Hannan said.

“Right away, they started gathering branches off the trees and laying it down on the path that’d I’d created,” he said. “As we were doing that, more people just started stopping and pulling over. This one guy pulled up with a shovel and everybody just started pitching in.”

Hannan said the family tried to reverse their vehicle out of the snowbank, but it slid further into the ditch. He and the other people who had stopped to help began digging a new path to get the vehicle out of the ditch. Hannan said after about 20 minutes, they were able to push the vehicle out of the ditch.


What I really felt was really impressive about it is the people who stopped were sightseers and a lot of them looked like they were photographers. And it was cutting into the prime sunset time. So it was really, really selfless that people stopped to help...

–Eric Hannan


“By this time, there were maybe about 10 people,” Hannan said. “What I really felt was really impressive about it is the people who stopped were sightseers and a lot of them looked like they were photographers. And it was cutting into the prime sunset time. So it was really, really selfless that people stopped to help out because it was probably a 20-minute ordeal that took away from why people were there, which was to catch the sunset. And they sacrificed that time to help somebody out.”

Hannan said there wasn’t a single car that drove by that didn’t stop to help. However, he said he wasn’t surprised by the number of people that took the time to stop and help out.

“I’m the eternal optimist,” Hannan said. “It was just one of those things where somebody was in need. I have a big heart for humanity. It was fantastic.”


Editor's Note: The creator of the YouTube video gave permission to attach the video to this story.

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Faith Heaton Jolley

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