At around six o’clock in the evening on December 23, 2022, Jay Withey was in the midst of a blizzard in the town of Cheektowaga, assisting a buddy who was already stranded there due to the storm. In spite of the severe weather, he drove his pickup to his friend’s house to pick him up.
While Withey was swerving along the road, where hundreds of people had already abandoned their cars, he was also able to pick up and assist other residents who were attempting to escape the severe weather. One of these people was an old lady named Mary.
However, when additional snow fell, Withey’s vehicle became unable to go further and became trapped. He labored to clear a way, but to no avail. He became aware that he and the other persons on his vehicle may perhaps perish from the cold if they remained outdoors for any longer.
The members of Withey’s group then began to knock on people’s doors and urge them to let them come inside.
He went so far as to knock on the doors of 10 different homes and request that they provide them with refuge.
He even offered to pay $500 for the night, despite the fact that they would have to sleep on the floor. They received a negative response.
Because they had no other option, Withey’s group crowded together inside of his vehicle. He switched on the engine in an attempt to keep everyone warm, but the next morning they discovered they were out of gas. He switched on the engine in an attempt to keep everyone warm, but the next morning they discovered they were out of gas.
The next day, Mary had an emergency and needed to use the restroom, so Withey used his phone to look for a spot that would work. He saw that Pine Hill School was close by, so he suggested to the group that they go there, where there would be heat, and where they could use the facilities.
However, in order for Withey to get into the school, he used brake pads to break the windows in the school kitchen, which activated the security alert. It’s possible that his actions would have consequences, but he was frantic to make sure that everyone was okay.
After that, Withey went outside to check if there were any further persons who were stuck and brought them into the school. Overall, he was successful in saving twenty persons of varying ages, ranging from twenty to seventy years old. The humans who were rescued were provided with food, warmth, and shelter with their companion animals.
On Christmas Day, Withey remained at the school until eight o’clock in the evening, long after the last of the individuals he had helped return safely to their homes. The Cheektowaga Police Department conducted an investigation into the break-in at the school and found that the suspect, Withey, had written an apologetic message before fleeing the scene.
In a portion of his letter, he apologized for his actions, saying, “To anyone it may concern, I’m really sorry for shattering the school window and for breaking into the kitchen.” “I had no choice but to do it in order to rescue everyone and provide them with a safe haven, food, and a restroom.”
The police were notified as soon as Withey activated the alarm, but they were unable to react due to the inclement weather. The region was one of the parts of the country that was impacted by the snowstorm the most severely.
In the end, the police did not make any arrests since the security cameras at the school demonstrated how the students were watching out for one another while the snowfall was taking place. On that fateful day, Withey was credited by the authorities for preventing several deaths.