Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Ryan Johnson, one of Ithaca’s bravest
Written By: Samantha Potter
ITHACA (WENY) -- When everyone else was running out of Simeon's Restaurant, there were few that were running in. One of those people was 22 year old Ryan Johnson, who buses tables at Mahogany Grill, just three doors down on North Aurora Street.
Ryan says he was outside sweeping when he watched the semi slam into Simeons - it took a few seconds to realize what he saw was real. He and his manager DJ, quickly rushed to the scene and instantly started helping people to their feet and getting them out safely.
Johnson says “ It was a team effort. It wasn't just me or one or two people. It was the entire area coming together to do whatever we could do to make sure these people are safe and whatever we could do until other people got there to help.”
As he was moving tables and chairs out of the way he saw the tractor trailer engine was on fire - and knew it could explode if it wasn't put out quickly. He ran across the street to get a fire extinguisher and put out the flames before the damage was much worse.
One of his coworkers says it's just like Ryan to put other's needs and safety ahead of his own. Johnson says it means a lot to him to know that ordinary people can make a such a humanitarian effort to save lives. And that all of the 30 or so people that assisted should also feel like heroes.