Good Samaritans honored by Boynton Beach, reunite with driver they rescued on busy intersection

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — The good Samaritans behind a remarkable street save in Boynton Beach were reunited with the driver they rescued, as the city honored them for their heroic actions.

The motorists risked their lives to save Laurie Rabyor after she lost consciousness while behind the wheel of her car at the intersection of Woolbright Road and Congress Avenue, May 5.

During a news conference held Friday, she had the opportunity to express her gratitude in person.

“I just want to thank every single one of you,” she said. “You were amazing. I mean, I don’t remember any of it.”

Traffic cameras captured Rabyor’s vehicle as it rolled slowly toward the middle of the intersection.

Moments later, her co-worker, Jannette Rivera, is seen running toward the car. She reached the sedan and started banging on the front passenger side window.

“I didn’t think about my life, you know. I just saw her going to the other car, and the other car was going to hit her, and I’m, ‘Oh, no. She’s going to get hurt,’” said Rivera, “but I tried to do my best.”

As Rabyor’s car continued to roll past the crosswalk, Army Staff Sgt. Juan Chavez came running.

“The moment I saw this young lady running across the street behind the car, yelling, ‘She’s unconscious, she’s unconscious,’ there was no doubt in my mind that I needed to do something,” he said, “so I just put my car in park and then took off running.”

They were soon joined by several other drivers who, like Rivera and Chavez, got out of their vehicles and tried to render aid.

Marko Bartolone said he initially hesitated before he got out of his car.

“I see this lady run through the intersection. I thought, ‘You know, I really can’t stop the car,’ but then I see Chavez in his uniform running across the intersection,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, with a couple of people, we can probably stop the car, and then I thought, ‘I’m not getting in front of that car,’ but I ended up getting in front of the car anyway.”

Davida Peele said this wasn’t her usual route home. She grabbed a dumbbell out of her car, and that’s what another good Samaritan used to break the rear passenger window of Rabyor’s car.

Rabyor returned that dumbbell to Peele on Friday.

“It could have been much worse than what it was, but because we all banded together, no matter how big or small what we did, she got to celebrate Mother’s Day,” said Peele. “She could have run into the pole, she could have run into the gas station. Anything could have happened.”

Robin Fox, a nurse, also ran to help. She called 911.

“OK, she is breathing, starting to wake up. I have a pulse,” she told the 911 dispatcher.

“I’m on the verge of tears already,” Fox said during the news conference. “I really did nothing. I observed from across the street. All these amazing people doing an amazing thing, and at the end, I come in to put my hand on your throat and feel a pulse.”

Rabyor said she’s certain these people saved her life.

“It’s so nice to know there’s people out there that care, that actually care and will do the right thing,” she said.

The traffic camera video of the rescue has gone viral. Since it was posted online, it has garnered nearly 40 million views.

Boynton Beach officials gave each good Samaritan a plaque, flowers, $2,000 and a week-long cruise for their goodwill.