Chester County man saves family from floodwaters

Joe Hilfrety of West Chester says it was his day off from driving for UPS, but he couldn't spare a moment to rest.
CALN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Chester County man encountered a family stranded in high water during heavy rains and flash flooding on September 23 and quickly rushed to help.

Joe Hilfrety, 21, of West Chester, went above and beyond when he heard the woman calling for help after yelling that her children and dog were trapped in the flooded car.

Hilfrety says it was his day off from driving for UPS, but he couldn't spare a moment to rest.

He noticed an SUV stuck in floodwaters in Caln Township under the overpass at the SEPTA Thorndale Station. Then he heard the driver screaming.

"She started screaming that there were two kids inside and a dog. As soon as she said that, I hopped over to help her," said Hilfrety.

Hilfrety jumped into action alongside a law enforcement officer. Thanks to their brave efforts, everyone got out of the floodwaters safely.

"I grabbed the kid, unbuckled her seat, and handed her to an officer, then I got the kids and handed her back to her mother. It was a joint effort between me and the trooper to get the dog out of the car," he said.

Hilferty says it only took seconds for the car to be submerged in water, rendered useless, making for a dangerous situation.

While he is happy he was there at the right time, he doesn't want to see this happen to anyone else.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.