Whether it be fate, or chance, some things are just meant to be. In those moments, we are often presented with a choice, and hopefully we make the right one.
When Brian Geary was driving to work after his schedule changed, he was presented with such a decision, and the stakes were high: the life or death of one unconscious, injured woman.
But Geary was more than up to the challenge and when all was done, the woman’s family knew they had in him a guardian angel.
Brian Geary was at the right place at the right time because of a schedule change.
At around 2:30 a.m. on April 19, Geary was driving to work on the Taconic State Parkway in Yorktown, New York.
This was not part of his normal routine, however. Usually, his shift as a Metro-North Railroad employee began around 11 p.m., but today was different.
Due to training being scheduled in another part of the state later that morning, he was required to take a different route at an unusual time for work that day.
Little did he know he was on a collision course with a life-or-death situation.
As he approached Exit 14, he recognized that something was wrong.
“Out of the corner of my eye I caught something,” Geary told Iohud.
Geary saw an overturned SUV which had crashed into a rocky ledge on the parkway by the exit ramp. To make matters worse, the car was on fire and the driver was still inside.
Geary was the first to stop, so when he pulled over he called 911. But he felt the need to do more.
“I’ve seen accidents before, I’ve never been the first person to get there,” Geary told Iohud. “It doesn’t matter how you do it, you have to get her out.”
There wasn’t a moment to lose—luckily, Geary was prepared.
At any moment, the fire could have reached the fuel line, causing an explosion. That would almost certainly have been bad news for the driver.
So, Geary attempted to open the car door to get the driver out, but the doors were locked. He also screamed, but she was not responsive.
Time was of the essence, though. He went back to his car, grabbed his gloves and the bat he used to play in his local hardball league.
Moments later, he returned to the flaming SUV and used the end of the bat to club the windshield open.
He was just in time.
He managed to reach her and pull her out of the SUV, but by that time other drivers had also stopped to help.
“We had to get her away from the car,” Geary said to Iohud. “We weren’t sure if the car was going to explode or not.”
With assistance from those other good Samaritans, Geary managed to move the woman clear from the overturned SUV. And it was just in time, too.
“The minute I got her out the entire car was engulfed,” Geary told CBS New York.
“He called me his guardian angel,” Geary said of the woman’s husband.
Eventually, emergency services arrived to put out the flames and transfer the woman to Westchester Medical Center.
Later, the driver’s husband got in contact with Geary to express his gratitude. However, the man was at a loss for words.
“He called me his guardian angel and her guardian angel,” Geary told CBS New York. “He was just so grateful. His whole family could have been torn apart.”