Neighbor lifts fridge off of man after SUV crashes into home

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
SUV crash charlotte
Credit: WINK News

After an SUV crashed into a home in Port Charlotte, it hit the fridge, which fell on one of the homeowners. The 89-year-old man was pinned underneath his fridge.

Luckily, his neighbors were able to help him.

Jeff Wright prefers calm at home and chaos at work. “When I’m at work, I’m expecting it, you know, but when I’m sitting down to eat dinner, not so much,” Wright said.

His work-life balance took a toll over the weekend. Jeff, his fiance Jenna and her parents heard the loud commotion that sent them running.

“We all kind of took different paths. I came through the house and she went around the yard,” said Wright.

They met at the SUV that had crashed into the home. Then, the urgent search for the almost 90-year-old homeowners began.

Jenna Blalckway is Jeff’s Fiance. “We heard that the gentlemen he was saying ‘I’m here I’m here,'” said Blackway.

He was pinned underneath a refrigerator. “He was in the fetal position with the refrigerator on him. And piles of concrete cinder blocks all around,” said Wright.

The men lifted the refrigerator off of 89-year-old Norb and held it up. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get him out right then.

Just minutes later, Charlotte County Fire and EMS got there and got Norb out and to the hospital.

“It seemed like forever,” said Wright when asked how long they were holding the fridge.

So you’re probably wondering how Jeff did it? How did he know to check for spilled fuel? Because when Jeff leaves the calm of home and he goes to the chaos of work as a Punta Gorda firefighter.

“The neighbors are hugging me and you kind of realize, Oh, this is kind of big cause there’s people crying?!?” said Wright.

Norb is alive because of this big deal. This willingness to help is big, even off-duty.

“I was wearing flip-flops and ran over there,” Wright said.

These neighbors thought nothing of it.

“Someone would have done the same for us,” Blackway said.

WINK News spoke with Norb and Eileen’s daughter today. She says her parents don’t want to talk about what happened on camera. But, she says they’re in good spirits and are resilient people. They are also grateful for their neighbors’ help.

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