Press Releases

Houlahan Honors Local Heroes On Floor Of U.S. House Of Representatives

Washington, September 15, 2020

Rep. Houlahan submits names of local heroes into the Congressional record.

WASHINGTON – Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) took to the floor of the United States House of Representatives to commend Walter Puddifer, Tom Garner, Hugh Lofting II, Dan DiGregorio, David MacDonald, and Burnett H. Wilson III for their heroic rescue – on Tuesday, August 4th, in our community of Chester County, amidst fast-moving floodwaters, these six men risked their own lives and saved a father and four children from a sinking vehicle.

“It is so important in these trying times to recognize the brave and heroic acts everyday Americans are committing,” said Houlahan. “This story is not an isolated incident – there are countless stories across the country of people stepping up to save lives – health care workers, essential workers, and the average person who sees someone in needs and drops everything to help. I thank these brave Pennsylvanians and enter their name into the Congressional record for their selfless and courageous act of service.”

Full video of Rep. Houlahan’s speech can be seen here.


A full account of the rescue can be found here from Alicia Vitarelli at Action News on 6abc. Reprinted below:

'We were all very lucky': Good Samaritans save family from Chester County floodwaters

By, Alicia Vitarelli

WEST MARLBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- On Tuesday, an incredibly risky water rescue in Chester County was caught on camera.

Four strangers, turned good Samaritans, saved a father and four children from a sinking vehicle as the floodwaters continued to rise.

The video out of West Marlborough Township is heart racing, and shows the true bravery of everyday heroes.

"You can see how strong the river is and it's pulling them away," says Dan DiGregorio, of Phoenixville, one of four strangers who rushed in to save them. "Honestly, out of nowhere, this backhoe comes around the corner and we immediately started screaming at the guy driving it."

That's when the group moved in to help.

"We're yelling at the dad who's now about 15 feet away from the car with his baby in his arms. He's almost going under. So, we tell him get back to the car," DiGregorio said.

The four strangers made a human chain, holding onto each other's belts, to get the family members out, one by one.

The oldest child almost slipped away, but DiGregorio was able to grab him by the wrist.

"Even last night, I couldn't sleep because I can still see the fear in his eyes as I'm holding on to them. Because if I let go, he's gone," he said. "We were all very lucky. I mean, it wasn't smart by any of us, but it was something that had to be done as soon as possible."

DiGregorio, along with David MacDonald, Tom Garner and Walter Puddifer are now connected by the incredible moment.

"None of us knew each other," he says. "We were from everywhere, from different countries. Who cares who we are? Everybody's family and everybody needs to take care of each other."

They are now are looking for the family to check in.