2 North Tonawanda Police Officers Saved the Lives of 60 Tourists
The aftermath of the Christmas blizzard of 2022 in Western New York will continue for the next few days. Crews are still in the process clearing roads, removing stranded vehicles and assisting those who need help.
50 inches fell at the Buffalo Airport, while another 20-40 inches fell in other parts of Buffalo and Western New York, with anywhere from 60-75 mph winds from Friday morning and into Christmas Eve.
We have dealt with historic storms or snow events: Blizzard of 77, Blizzard of 85, snowstorm of November, 2000, the October Surprise Storm (2006), Snowbember (2014) and last month's snowstorm...but this may have been the worst we have ever seen in Buffalo's history.
Law enforcement and emergency personnel couldn't even respond to calls of distress on Friday and early Saturday, because how just how bad conditions were. Those essential personnel worked 2-3 straight days.
We are hearing stories of what happened on Friday and Saturday, including one miraculous story in the Tonawandas.
On early Saturday morning, the winds were still blizzard-like and the lake effect snow band was hitting the north towns hard.
The City of North Tonawanda released a press release, which detailed the story of a bus of 60 tourists who got stuck in the snow.
The bus was on its way to Washington D.C. It got stuck in the heavy snow on River Road. It came within one foot of falling into a ditch and flipping over.
North Tonawanda policed officers Brandon Lathrop and Chris Rosky were paired together in a pickup truck and came to the aid of the tour bus. They had to start bringing four travelers at a time to Gratwick Hose. However, their truck got stuck twice and they could no longer use it to rescue the travelers.
That's when the officers decided to take the travelers by foot to Gratwick Hose, which was one mile away down Ward Road. They had to walk through knee-to-hip deep snow to get there.
On Christmas Day, Lt. Mike Roberts and Lt. Jeff Swick drove to get them food at the nearby 7-11 and then Bob Brennan of Gratwick Hose helped the officers dig out a First Student school bus and a NTPD SWAT bus to transport the 60 tourists to a Niagara Falls hotel.
An absolutely amazing story that could have ended much differently if it weren't for these officers in North Tonawanda.