Had it not been for the swift response of Edgar Martinez, one of his customers would’ve likely gone to the hospital.
“I was out working outside where I normally work,” Martinez, an employee at the Glenwood Springs Subaru dealership, recalled. “All of a sudden I started hearing a cry for help.”
At first Martinez, 30, thought he would have to intervene in a physical altercation. Instead, after quickly rounding the corner, he said he found Mary Beth Weaver, a retired 69-year-old real estate agent who suffers from terminal heart and lung issues, in the parking lot.
Weaver, who is connected 24/7 to an oxygen tank, said she was trying to step out of a loaner car the morning of Jan. 19 when something went terribly awry.
“I was (halfway) out of my car and was connected to my oxygen tank, and even though I had set the emergency brake, the oxygen cart and machine fell on top of the brake and it let loose, making the car begin to roll backward,” she wrote in a letter to the Post Independent. “Both my legs were already out the door on the ground but I was still sitting, the handle fell below the steering wheel and I could not move because the oxygen tube and charger cord got tangled around the stick shift.”
With the entangled cord impossible to undo from the stick, Weaver was at the mercy of the rolling vehicle. Thankfully, Martinez got there just in time to avert disaster.
Weaver said Martinez dove to his knees and somehow managed to reach for the floor brake, which stopped the car from rolling over her legs.
“He never took one second to think how dangerous it was for him, now that he was under my steering wheel, too,” Weaver said.
But just as Martinez was able to stop the vehicle, he did more.
“I had her honk the horn for help and she eventually got loose and got the emergency brake back up,” Martinez said.
Fellow staffers came to the rescue, while Weaver shook, sobbing in fear, she said.
“I came out with some bruised ribs where the oxygen tank handle hit me, but it shook me up pretty bad,” she said.
Subaru General Manager Carroll Winkler gave humble praise to Martinez.
“It’s not anything that anybody obviously wouldn’t do to help somebody,” he said. “As good humans, you got somebody that’s in a stressful or challenging situation, you just respond. Any good person would.”
“(Martinez) happily did so,” he added. “And he’s a very humble young man.”
After everything was said and done, instead of making a big thing out of it, Martinez simply went back to work.
“I watched him run his tail off for an hour and a half while they serviced my brakes in my car,” Weaver said. “He was my guardian angel, that is for sure.”