‘It was part of her survival:’ Truck driver paves way for metro couple en route to hospital

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo — A man trying to rush his wife to the hospital got stuck in rush-hour traffic.

While they were boxed in, a box truck driver came to the rescue, and escorted the couple to Centerpoint Medical Center.

Now, they’re searching for the driver who helped last Tuesday — without knowing it was a matter of life and death.

“We don’t know who he was, but whoever he was,” 94-year-old David Martell said, “thank God he was there.”

Martell was driving his wife, Ruby, to the emergency room after she complained of chest pains.

“I had my flashers on in my car and my headlights on, and I was flashing them at people, and they wouldn’t get out of the way,” Martell said.

Headed down (Highway) 291 from 23rd Street, a box truck driver, also caught in traffic, saw Ruby slumped over in the passenger seat and David trying to keep her awake.

The stranger flashed a hand signal to follow, and he led the way making traffic move, while Ruby was experiencing heart failure.

“Everybody got out of the way,” Martell said. “We made that 2 miles in a matter of seconds, and it was, to me, it was part of her survival.”

“When he was telling me the story, he started to tear up,” granddaughter Debbie Benson said, “and that just touched my heart that somebody out there would help my grandparents.”

Benson is one of their nine grandchildren. She posted to Facebook a plea to find and hug the truck driver.

“I was so busy taking care of her I didn’t recognize any name on the truck,” Martell said defeated. “I don’t know if there was one.”

“I’m just thankful that somebody would go out of their way to help my grandparents,” Benson said.

Thanks to this kind stranger, Martell said he and his wife are going to live to see 75 years together in February.

“I would just tell him thank God for people like you mister,” Martell said with tears in his eyes. “That’s what I would tell him.”

Martell said Ruby is improving day by day. She’s getting out of the hospital and moving to a rehab facility this week.

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