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Drivers rush to stop runaway car: ‘Strangers working together’

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The scene captured by traffic cameras in Boynton Beach, Fla., is befitting of a Marvel flick. But there was no superhero squad — just total strangers springing into action to prevent what could have been a tragic accident.

Cars were passing through a busy South Florida intersection last week when a black vehicle began slowly rolling diagonally past the stoplight. A woman in leggings got out of her car and rushed down the street while waving her arms at other motorists. A service member in a camouflage uniform trailed closely behind her; his sprint interrupted by cars speeding past. Others joined them, leaving their own vehicles to help stop the drifting car.

The group eventually pushed the car to a nearby 7-Eleven parking lot, where a nurse provided the slumped-over driver with medical attention until a fire department crew arrived.

“It’s amazing just how fast they all worked together,” Stephanie Slater, a Boynton Beach Police Department spokeswoman, told The Washington Post. “Complete strangers working together to rescue a stranger.”

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That stranger was a woman going through a “medical episode” on May 5, Slater said. Identified as Laurie Rabyor by CBS12 News, she told the outlet she had convulsed after a mix of blood pressure pills and fasting before a medical procedure had left her dizzy. She didn’t wake up until the next day, she said, but has since recovered.

“Thank you so much. I don’t know how to thank you,” is what Rabyor told CBS12 News she’d say to those she said saved her life. “I wish I was a millionaire, so I could buy y’all a boat.”

The Boynton Beach Police Department posted a video of the scene on its social media pages Wednesday. The footage shows the first woman to intervene — later identified as the driver’s co-worker, according to WJXT — running into traffic while waving her arms in the middle of the intersection.

Once the black car reached the other side of the street, five people joined the woman in trying to stop it. As the group held the car at a standstill, a woman in a green shirt handed over a small dumbbell to break the glass of a rear window, allowing the pack to gain control of the vehicle.

The act of kindness was praised throughout the community. On Wednesday, police asked the public to help identify the good Samaritans “so we can get everybody together and reunite them and honor them for their heroism,” Slater said.

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Within three hours of posting the video, calls and emails with tips came flooding in, Slater said. So far, officials have been able to track down some of the helpers and are scheduling the get-together, she said.

Still, Slater said the video doesn’t show everyone who might have lent a hand.

“If somebody was directing traffic or somebody helped in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven, we’re just at this point asking anyone who played a role to please contact us,” she said.

Clips of the video have been viewed millions of times on Twitter and other social media platforms. Slater called the capacity for the act of kindness to be seen far beyond the city of some 78,000 people “a beautiful thing.”

“I think that right now everybody could use some good news and something that really restores your faith in humanity,” Slater said. “And this video does that.”

Rabyor told CBS12 News that she hopes the strangers’ kindness inspires others.

She’s also hoping to return the dumbbell that was used in her rescue.

“I would like to give the other lady back her dumbbell, too, because it was still in my car,” she told the outlet.

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