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Family reunites with stranger who helped save their loved one's life

Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 30, 2020

CINCINNATI — On Nov. 21, Chief John Adams with Ohio LandSAR, a group comprised of volunteers trained in search and rescue, spotted a car stopped in the middle of the Second Street ramp to 471 and Columbia Parkway Downtown. A man was lying in the roadway, and Adams immediately stopped to help.

"I just happened to see traffic slowing down in an odd area," he said.

Adams didn't know it, but that man was Darren Pyle, a a 52-year-old husband, father and grandfather, and he was suffering from a heart attack.

"I started doing chest compressions right away and all we could do was pray while we were doing it," said Adams. "I was just praying all the way home, 'Lord, I hope he makes it.'"

Darren was driving on the highway through Downtown when he suddenly jerked the wheel and clutched his chest. His daughter, Alyssa, quickly put the car into neutral, stopping the vehicle in the middle of the ramp, called 911 and got out screaming for help -- a call Adams and another man, who hasn't been identified, answered.

"We just wanted you to be recognized for the great thing that you did for our family," said Shelley Pyle, Darren's wife, in a video call with Adams.

Adams and the Pyles aren't certain who the other man was; the family believes he might be a firefighter because of a logo on the t-shirt he was wearing. The Pyle family has been searching for the Good Samaritans who saved Darren's life that day, eager to thank them.

"I do owe you my life, buddy. I appreciate it. Thank you so much," Darren added.

The family, originally from Illinois, was in Cincinnati for a wedding that day.

"We just know it was absolutely the hand of God that placed you there, and the other gentleman, and we hope to get to talk to him someday. We just want to say thank you," said Shelley.

Shelley said Darren's heart doctors told her having someone there so quickly to start chest compressions until paramedics arrived was crucial to Darren's survival, and his recovery.

"We train to do this," said Adams. "This is what we do...That day was a bad day and I'm just really glad it was a good outcome."