Ron Hall stands in front of his truck that is hanging over the side of I-90, 200 feet above Winter Green Gorge

Editor’s note: The following is a first-person account from Erie-area newsman Mike Gallagher, describing his recent encounter with lucky-to-be-alive trucker Ron Hall. Gallagher met Hall after a massive pile-up on Interstate 90 during Thursday’s snow storm.

By Michael Gallagher

Special to the Meadville Tribune

ERIE — I met truck driver Ron Hall, the man behind the wheel of this rig during Thursday’s massive pile-up on Interstate 90 in Erie. He said he opened his door when his truck came to a stop, looked down, and knew he was dangling 200 feet above the Winter Green Gorge.

He thought he was going to die.

When Hall looked back across the bridge, a man in a Carhartt sweatshirt was walking on the eight-inch-wide guide wall in an attempt to save him before his rig might fall. This “mystery man” then climbed onto the wreckage, broke out the windshield, pulled Hall out of the cab and walked him back along the ledge to safety.

When Hall approached me, I asked “were you one of the drivers in this wreck?”

He responded, “No. I’m the Powerball winner who was behind the wheel of the truck dangling over the gorge. Last night, one person won $250 million in a lottery. Today, I tell you, I am luckier than that person because some man put his own life in serious jeopardy just to save mine.”

“When we made it to safety, I was in tears,” Hall continued. “I turned to thank him and he walked away into a snow white-out, and I never even got to get his name.”

In the eyes and heart of Ron Hall, he met a hero — or an angel. Whatever the case, in a world of so much bad, there is some good if one man is willing to put the life of someone he did not even know above his own!

I have had the good fortune to produce photos and videos for rock stars like Pat Monahan, NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino, All-Pro Quarterback Marc Bulger and so many others, but when the time comes to sit down and write that book, you can bet the unknown hero and the grateful trucker are sure to be featured in a prominent fashion.

I hope you all can view a few of my photos and understand why this act of bravery still has me in tears days after Ron Hall walked up to me on that bridge.

No matter what life throws at you, take time to value what little time we truly get to be alive!

Thanks, Ron Hall, for sharing your story with me. To the hero who saved him: We may never know your name but I would guess that when your day finally comes, there will be a place on the other side of the pearly gates that already has been reserved for you.

MYATG (my new motto, which stands for Meet You at The Gate!)

Gallagher is an occasional contributor to the Meadville Tribune.

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