Ohio man saves same strangers twice, eight years apart

·Good News Writer

On Saturday evening, an Ohio man came to the aid of a man and his son with a flat tire.

He later learned that he came to their rescue eight years ago, too.

Christopher Manacci, a nurse practitioner, was driving along Washington Street in Auburn Township, Ohio, on Saturday when he saw a van pulling a fishing boat creeping along the side of the road. The van had a flat tire.

"He was limping along at about 5 miles an hour and I could see that the driver's side front tire was almost flat," Manacci said. "I live nearby, so I dropped my wife off and figured I'd grab a can of fix-a-flat and try to help the guy out. This is the country and there are not a lot of places to go for help that time of night."

Manacci pulled his car up behind the struggling van and put his hazard lights on.

The van's passengers, Gerald Gronowski and his 15-year-old son, Kevin, were standing outside the vehicle.

Shortly after Manacci got out of his car, a truck collided with his 2006 Lexus.

"A truck that we didn't actually even see coming was moving at a very high rate of speed, and struck my car, and the truck became airborne and landed about three feet beyond where he was standing, him and his son," Manacci told Fox 8 News.

"It's nice to know that there are Good Samaritans out there," Lieutenant Mark Neff told The Plain Dealer. "His actions probably saved those people's lives."

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the driver of the truck, who was taken to the hospital, was intoxicated. No one else was hurt.

Gronowski later told Manacci that eight years ago, another nurse practitioner came to his aid.

"I told the story about how I was fishing and I got a triple hook embedded deep into my hand," Gronowski said in an interview with The Plain Dealer. "I was in a lot of pain and my son asked if anyone was a doctor and this guy paddles up in a kayak. He was a nurse practitioner and he surgically removed the hook from my hand. Chris looked at me and said, 'That was me.' "

Manacci quickly identified himself as that man.

"You just never know what the day brings you and you never know, you never know what small thing you will do that will result in a miracle," Manacci told Fox 8 News.

To thank him, Gronowski has offered to take Manacci fishing.

"I told him my limit was rescuing someone twice in a lifetime, but I would like to get together with him," Manacci said. "But considering the bad luck he's had while fishing, I suggested we go bowling instead."

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