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Confused “little old lady” rescued by salt truck driver who was just in the right place at the right time


A Pennsylvania salt truck driver says his rescue of a confused elderly woman over the Christmas holiday was “meant to be,” all thanks to an equipment delay that threw him off of his regular schedule. 

PennDOT salt truck driver, Shane Thumma, says he was running a little behind schedule for his salting duties early on Christmas day after stopping to resupply his truck. Once he finally set out, Thumma says he came across an elderly woman alone on the side of the street, looking confused and dressed only in a nightgown despite the frigid weather. 

“I pulled up beside them and it was a little old lady in her nightgown and I immediately stopped, got out, and started to have a conversation,” said Thumma to CBS Pittsburgh.

“The story changed so many times. She was going to her house. She was going to somebody else’s house,” so Thumma decided to take the woman’s journey into his own hands. 

Dressed in a festive Christmas cap, Thumma got to work maneuvering the elderly woman into his salt truck and called the police, who agreed to meet the unlikely pair at a nearby gas station.

“It was actually a job getting little Sally all the way up into the plow truck. She had to step over my side wing plow,” he said. 

From there, the police officers took over to ensure the elderly woman would make it home, but Thumma says he still thinks he was just in the right place at the right time. 

“Whether it was just my precaution of safety or God telling me just to maybe take a little extra time,” said Thumma. “Somebody getting out of a big monstrous truck and looks a little like Santa Claus she probably couldn’t have been any happier. I didn’t have no reindeer but…”

Thank you for your kindness, driver!


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