Hot Dog Hero Saves My Children

With no gas, no AAA, and two babies in the backseat, my van was heading into traffic with no driver…

I had promised my son Adin a hot dog. 

On the way to our local  I realized I had procrastinated long enough to get gas. 

While considering which stop to make first, the incessant whining made the decision for me. 

As we waited for our turn at the drive-thru window, the unthinkable happened...

The minivan ran out of gas. 

I was stranded at the Wienerschnitzel drive-thru window, just across the street from the Mobil station.

I explained my situation to the anonymous person on the other side of the drive-thru mic and begged them to send someone out to help. 

And then a Wienerschnitzel employee, Brian, ran out to help me. 

We struggled to push the van out of the narrow lane, Brian pushing the back of the car, me the drivers door. I glanced at the kids in their car seats — my 18-month-old chuckled. 

As we cleared a little hump in the parking lot, the van gained a little momentum. I yelled at him to keep pushing and help me get it across to the Mobil station. 

The only problem was the van was moving too fast and was now headed for Sunset Crossing with my two babies in the back seat! 

Brian yelled at me to jump in, but it was going too fast for me. 

And just as the van was about to drive into traffic, without a driver, Brian ran past me, jumped into the moving van and maneuvered it safely across the intersection, stopping it squarely in front of the gas pump.

My hero…

“I felt like Spiderman having to jump in that car like that” Brian said, almost breathless as he exited the car. 

I looked in the backseat and the kids were as relaxed as could be. I had no words, except to say thank you, but before I could finish my sentence Brian said, “You be safe, I need to get back to work.”  And he was off. 

Dumbfounded and grateful, I knew I just had to get a hold of Brian again, to give him a proper thank you, and to learn a little more about him. 

Here's what I found out:

How old are you?

Nineteen… twenty.  I’ll be 20 in August.

How long have you worked at Wienerschnitzel?

Almost six months, since February. 

Do you enjoy helping others?

I do!  It makes me feel good.

What were you thinking as you pushed that van across the street?

I got to get back to work – they're gonna get mad at me.

What are your plans for the future?

Want to get my pilot's license.  There’s no financial aid like for regular school, so I have to save up for it.

It was a pleasure to meet Brian, as we said our goodbye’s he asked me “got gas in your car now?” 

“No, running on fumes – again,”  I said laughing, but I wasn’t kidding. 

“You drive safe now” was the last thing he said to me. And just in case you were wondering, yes, he already has a girlfriend...

Gabriela Klein July 21, 2011 at 02:30 PM
Heroes are needed. Mine was in the form of AAA this week, as I did a VERY STUPID THING. I left the dog in the car with the keys in the ignition, A/C blasting, phone in the console, to deposit a check really quick. I was 5 steps away (I got the spot RIGHT in front of the ATM) and my sweet little puppy LOCKED THE CAR!!! As I jumped around trying to get her to UNLOCK, calling her name, telling her how cute she is, she wagged her tail alot, but she kept relocking, and opening/closing the mirrors. Everything BUT the unlock button!! ARGGHH! It was hot, my phone in the car! Thank goodness for AAA and California Coach Towing for getting there ASAP. And yes, I called him my hero! I think he liked that! Thanks for the article Ruth, his mama should be proud.
Fred Romero July 21, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I can just see Ellie, smiling, wagging her tail as you tried to get her to unlock the car. Too funny! maybe not at the time though. :)
Ruth Milligan July 21, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Ruth Milligan July 21, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Hey Gabriela, just know that you're not the only one doing "stupid" things every now-and-then. At least you left the a/c on, but glad your baby is alright. Thanks for sharing!
Gabriela Klein July 21, 2011 at 11:56 PM
It was funny, because I knew help was on the way, and you are absolutely right Fred, she was smiling at me, the little stinker! That's what I get for cutting corners! If you do things the right way, you don't suffer consequences. Lesson learned.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »