Without help from two Fredonia Police officers, I may still be stuck inside my vehicle.
I began my journey home from the office in Jamestown just before 1 a.m., surprised by how clear the roads were. Then I reached Fredonia. Not thinking of possible drifts, I took my usual route home from Route 60 to Webster and down Seymour ... and then wham! I drove unsuspectingly into a 3-foot drift in the middle of the road. It was a bit comical at first, in a strange "Alive" sort of way.
After calling emergency roadside assistance, and posting a joking plea for a shovel on Facebook, I was told a tow would be out within the hour. (This would also be a good time to thank John Gullo, who offered to come pick me up despite the time and horrible conditions.) Twenty minutes later I received the call that the area was under a state of emergency and that no tow trucks were being sent out in the current conditions, not for at least the next 20 hours I was told. Instead, roadside assistance contacted the Fredonia Police Department.
Officers Ben Cravitz and Amy Noble arrived shortly after, not questioning my apparent stupidity for being on the road at that time, but with the goal of helping me get my vehicle out.
For the next 90-plus minutes we worked to get the vehicle out - shoveling a few minutes, pushing at times and frequently getting back into our cars to warm up.
I'm not sure how others may have reacted getting a call like that and dealing with what could only be described as the worst outdoor experience of my life, but they pressed on with a wonderful attitude and genuine intent to help me get out and home safely. By 4 a.m. I'm glad to say I was home safe.
These two officers deserve a big "thank you" and should be commended for their work to provide and ensure public safety.
Michael Rukavina is a former OBSERVER employee and Fredonia resident.