Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

January 8, 2014

Farmer comes to rescue of stranded motorists

KOUTS, Ind. (AP) — Crown Point residents Rigo and Claudia Garcia sat stranded Sunday night along a rural stretch of Ind. 8 just outside of Kouts, watching a snow drift climb higher along their SUV, when they spotted lights in the distance.

As the lights slowly neared over the next 45 minutes, the couple was surprised to see a large tractor digging its way through the snow toward them and other vehicles scattered across the road and in nearby ditches.

The tractor's driver, who reached the stranded motorists during the county's state of emergency when other emergency officials could not, turned out to be nearby farmer and business owner Chris Birky.

"I called my wife and said, 'You better start cleaning. We are going to have people over,'" Birky told The Times.

After helping each of the occupied vehicles to his driveway through a path he had cleared in the highway, the Birky family welcomed the strangers into their home, where they remained Monday afternoon while waiting for highways to reopen.

"This family is unbelievable," Rigo Garcia said.

Not only have the stranded motorists been treated to movies and entertainment from the family's children, but they have also been served homemade meals, provided dry clothing and a comfortable place to sleep.

Birky, who owns a catering company, Piggies & Cream restaurants in Kouts and North Judson, and Birky's Country Market and Bakery in Kouts, said he just felt moved to help after noticing the blinking car lights on the highway in front of his house.

"You just got to do what God tells you to do," he said.

Birky said it took him three hours to clear the path to the stranded motorists and to help pull their vehicles into position to reach the safety of his driveway.

Rigo, who was on his way home from his nursing job in Winamac when the fierce winter storm brought a scary halt to his commute, said the story of his rescue became even more inspiring when he learned Birky had been unable to get the tractor started before Sunday night and has not been able to get it started since.

The six stranded motorists planned to stay put until a plow finally makes it down the stretch of Ind. 8 between U.S. 421 and Ind. 49.

"The last thing we want to do is leave in this," Rigo said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Accident at NE Indiana factory kills contractor GARRETT (AP) — A northeastern Indiana coroner says a Fort Wayne man died from a head injury he suffered when a scissor-lift toppled inside a factory as he was installing a safety feature on a crane. DeKalb County Coroner Jeff Warner says 54-year-old

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Indiana synagogue to get historical marker LIGONIER, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana museum that originally served as a synagogue for a thriving Jewish population will receive a state historical marker next month. The marker honoring the 125-year-old former temple will be unveiled Aug. 31 in t

    July 28, 2014

  • Muncie man charged in crash that killed woman, 89 MUNCIE (AP) — A Muncie man faces reckless homicide and other charges stemming from a 2012 car crash that killed an 89-year-old woman. Tra Hunter Privett was being held on a $20,000 bond following his Friday arrest on charges of reckless homicide and

    July 28, 2014

  • Police: Carmel couple dies in murder-suicide CARMEL (AP) — Indianapolis-area police are investigating the death of a husband and wife as a murder-suicide. Carmel police say they responded to a report of a shooting Sunday evening and found 38-year-old David Hall and 40-year-old Shannon Hall dead

    July 28, 2014

  • Officials want more local fireworks say EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Evansville will ask lawmakers for more local authority to restrict private fireworks displays.The Evansville Courier & Press reports council members consulted the city attorney after receiving numerous complaints during the Ju

    July 28, 2014

  • Teen Pilot Crash_Kova.jpg Memorial service set to honor Indiana crash victims

    A memorial service at sea will be held for a 17-year-old pilot from Indiana and his father, whose plane crashed during an around-the-world flight attempt.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge issues gag order in Gary police killing case

    A northwest Indiana judge has issued a gag order in the case against a man suspected of fatally shooting a Gary police officer.

    July 26, 2014

  • Survivors of USS Indianapolis sinking hold reunion

    About a dozen of the remaining 36 survivors of the World War II USS Indianapolis sinking are gathering in Indianapolis for a reunion over the weekend.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen says he'll sue Fishers over police dog attack

    A teenager bitten by a police dog in an Indianapolis suburb says he will sue the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former piano factory burns down in Muncie

    An old warehouse that was the site of a former piano factory has burned down in Muncie.

    July 26, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller