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83-Year-Old Saved from Freezing Temps, Family Thanks Mystery Hero

An 83-year-old is saved in sub-freezing temperatures after he wrecked his car going the wrong way on the Interstate. The family credits a good Samaritan for stopping and calling for help.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - For hours early Wednesday (12/12) morning Robert Gafford, 83, sat alone in a ditch.

Disoriented while rushing to UAMS from Benton to see his ailing wife, according to State Police reports, Robert somehow ended up going the wrong way on Interstate 530.

"He claims he had headlights coming toward him so he must have been on the opposite side of the interstate," said Robert's step-daughter Regina Sullivan.

Sullivan got the call about her step-father later that morning.

With cars speeding toward him Robert apparently lost control into a ditch. Police say at some point it seems he tried to get out but fell chest deep into the water. When police finally arrived, Robert was sitting in his car, ignition off, wet from the chest down.

"No one was there with him," Regina added. "He didn't know what to do and apparently he couldn't get up out of the water."

Robert's family says he likely would have died there if it hadn't have been for one person.

"If it wasn't for him coming back my dad would be dead," remarked Robert's daughter, Laura Price. "I wouldn't be here to see him alive. I'd be making funeral arrangements."

But the family has no idea who this mystery hero is. All they know is early Wednesday morning around 1 a.m. this person apparently saw Robert's car go off the interstate and into a ditch. He called 9-1-1 but kept going. Police apparently told him the car was nowhere to be found.

Hours later around four in the morning however while sitting at work, something bothered him about the situation. He left and went back to look for himself where he indeed found the 83-year-old chest deep still stuck in the water.

The concerned good samaritan pulled Robert from the water and sat with him until MEMS and State Police arrived.

"It's just sad that he was there and probably so many cars passed by and never noticed," Regina said. "But this one person did and it's for him that my step-father's still alive and getting out of the hospital."

The family would love to meet this person. If you're out there somewhere, give us call. Otherwise, the family just wants you to know how thankful they are.
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