A snow angel of a different sort appeared Monday afternoon in Wenatchee.
As the snow was accumulating and people were thinking about what was turning into a dicey commute home, 25-year-old real estate agent Colton Riblett was thinking about how he could use his Jeep Wrangler to help motorists who might go off the road.
Riblett posted his offer of free help in the Facebook group Wenatchee Valley Crime and Events, and people loved it, even if they didn’t need help.
By Wednesday morning there were more than 380 likes, almost 50 shares and more than 60 comments on his post.
Most of those comments were praise for Riblett and his selfless offer. There also were offers to help him help others, if he needed it.
“Well it exploded,” Riblett said Wednesday. “There was quite a few people who at least showed their thankfulness for the offer and there was quite a few people that actually reached out for help, as well. … I was able to help five. I had more people than that reach out for help but the amount of time I had just wasn’t enough to get to them all.”
The idea of spending his time pulling strangers’ vehicles out of ditches came from his own experience, Riblett said.
He recently found himself in a ditch on Chumstick Highway and spent hours waiting for help, then paid a $300 tow bill.
“It was just really ingrained in my head how much of a painful experience that was,” he said. “As I was paying (the tow bill) I was realizing it’s obviously a huge hardship for some. I would hate to have to have somebody pay that that couldn’t afford it. That’s what really made me think about it when the snow started flying.”
The people he helped were very grateful, he said. One offered to give him some Dutch Bros cards and another offered to bring cookies to his office.
Riblett said he’ll continue to help people when they need it, though he probably won’t post the offer on Facebook every time.