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10 Pizza Delivery Drivers Who Saved the Day

by Julie Henthorn
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

You don’t have to be bitten by a radioactive spider, have super speed or strength, or have the ability to fly in order to be a hero. Being a hero simply means putting the needs of others before your own and relying on your own inner strength and courage, even in the face of danger or uncertainty.

Being a “hero” can span a variety of situations from paying for a person’s groceries when they come up short at the register, helping a new mother who’s struggling, granting a last wish to someone with a terminal illness, or just leaving a larger-than-usual tip for an employee in the service industry.

The ten pizza delivery drivers on this list had no idea the circumstances they were about to encounter as they made seemingly normal deliveries. However, rather than ignoring the situation or assuming they could not help, they heard the calls of those in need and chose to answer, ultimately saving the day and in some cases, the lives of their customers.

Related: 10 Times A Homeless Person Was A Hero (For Real)

10 Anson Lemmer

File:Box @ Speck Pizza @ Marco Polo @ Paris (31002678326).jpg

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Nineteen-year-old Anson Lemmer, a pizza delivery driver for Uncle Pizza in Denver, Colorado, headed out for his last delivery on June 15, 2015. However, when a standard pizza delivery quickly became a medical emergency, Lemmer sprang into action.

When Lemmer arrived at his destination, he saw a man on the ground turning blue and in need of help. While there were other bystanders at the residence, they did not know CPR. However, Lemmer had received CPR training as a pre-teen and put that training to good use until first responders could arrive. By that time, the unnamed man was in stable condition and transported to the hospital, where he was later released. While Lemmer doesn’t consider himself a “hero,” he was honored by The American Red Cross on July 17, 2015, and presented with the Lifesaver Award.[1]

9 Sofia Furtado

DoorDasher saves woman’s life while delivering pizza

Caryn Sullivan of West Island Fairhaven, Massachusetts, placed a pizza order on February 11, 2022, but because her husband was asleep, she decided to wait outside her home for the delivery. Unfortunately, while waiting, Sullivan’s knee gave out, causing her to fall down a set of stairs and injure her head on the way down.

When Sophia Furtdao, the DoorDash delivery driver, arrived and saw Sullivan bleeding and unresponsive, she immediately went inside to notify Sullivan’s husband and call 911. Thankfully, Furtado also had previous EMT training, so she wasn’t afraid to assist and could follow the dispatcher’s instructions until medics arrived at the home.

While Sullivan underwent emergency surgery and months of recovery, doctors stated that had it not been for Furtado arriving when she did and assisting dispatchers, Sullivan would not have made it. The Fairhaven Police Department honored Furtado with a lifesaving award, and DoorDash also granted her a $1,000 educational grant to help her pursue her dreams of becoming an EMT.[2]

8 Alou Bathily

Quick Thinking, Fast Pedaling Pizza Man Helps Cop Catch Suspect

In March 2019, twenty-one-year-old Alou Bathily, a native of West Africa, had only been a resident of the United States for two months. However, on the evening of March 29, not only was Bathily on a mission to serve pizza to a New York customer, but he also served up some much-needed justice.

While en route to a delivery, Bathily witnessed a police chase. Manhattan police were in pursuit of a suspect who previously had been harassing a woman and stole her headphones. When the suspect, 17-year-old Lovell Ambrister, took off on foot, Bathily refused to let him get away and chased after the young man on his bicycle. Bathily was able to tackle him to the ground and then stated he “sat on him for good measure” until the police arrived.

On April 23, 2019, the New York Police Department presented Bathily with an award for being a “local neighborhood superhero.” Not only was Bathily able to assist police in apprehending the suspect and saving the day, but he was also able to deliver the customer’s pizza in well under 30 minutes.[3]

7 Nicholas Bostic

Hero pizza delivery man speaks out

When 25-year-old pizza delivery driver Nicholas Bostic of Lafayette, Indiana, noticed a house engulfed in flames on the evening of July 11, 2022, he jumped into action without any second thoughts or hesitation. Thankfully, Bostic was able to enter the residence through an unlocked back door, where he began calling out to anyone who might have been inside.

Bostic found four children upstairs; however, once he had gotten them to safety, he was told a six-year-old girl was still inside the home. He ran back into the flames and was able to locate the child. Unfortunately, due to the intense amount of smoke, Bostic couldn’t find his way back out, so he took the little girl and jumped out of the second-story window, landing on his side to ensure she wasn’t injured during the escape.

Four of the children Bostic rescued lived in the home; one was a friend staying the night. The parents of the four children, David and Tiera Barrett, had gone out for a date night, and the fire later was deemed to have started due to a bucket of ashes on the porch that had not been fully extinguished.

Bostic suffered from severe smoke inhalation, deep cuts on his arms, and blisters on his hands but was released from the hospital a few days later. He was simply happy to know all of the children were okay. Needless to say, the Barretts are incredibly grateful for Bostic’s quick thinking and heroic actions, and they now consider him family.[4]

6 Gilad Zargari

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Seventeen-year-old Gilad Zargari is a pizza delivery driver in Be’er Sheeva, Israel. However, when he arrived to make a delivery on February 5, 2022, he was met by a young father in desperate need of help.

The father, Ran, told Zargari that his daughter was suffering from a febrile convulsion, a seizure that is brought on when a child’s temperature gets too high. The family was waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Thankfully, aside from delivering pizzas, Zargari was also a Magen David Adom (MDA) volunteer, which provides training in first-aid and emergency care.

Zargari immediately began doing what he had been trained to do. He called for a MICU, a mobile intensive care unit ambulance specifically equipped to care for those requiring immediate, high-level treatment, and wrapped the baby in a damp towel to bring her temperature down. Thanks to Zargari’s actions, the little girl had been stabilized by the time medics arrived. The little girl’s parents were extremely grateful that Zargari was the one who arrived on the scene and when he did, saying, “We received a pizza with a life-saving side order.”[5]

5 Oregon Domino’s

Domino’s Employees Save Man’s Life, Call 911 When Regular Stops Ordering

Forty-eight-year-old Kirk Alexander of Salem, Oregon, had been a loyal Domino’s customer for over 10 years, ordering almost every single day. However, never could he have imagined that his love for pizza would ultimately save his life.

When 11 days had passed without a single incoming order from Alexander, general manager Sarah Fuller knew something had to be wrong and sent driver Tracey Hamblen to Alexander’s home to check on him. Hamblen had become well acquainted with Alexander and knew of his medical conditions. However, when Hamblen arrived, the lights and TV were on, but he was unable to get Alexander to answer the door or his phone.

Hamblen returned to the Domino’s store, where he and Fuller then called 911. First responders arrived and were able to rescue Alexander, who was believed to have had a stroke, although no specific details were released regarding his medical condition. However, the care of the Domino’s staff didn’t end after Alexander was transported to the hospital. They continued to make visits to check on him during his recovery.[6]

4 Brad Lane

File:Police Line Curb Police Tape 3912300267 8c2b94756f o.jpg

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

When pizza delivery driver Brad Lane received a phone call at Toppers Pizza in Clifton, Ohio, at 3:00 am on March 28, 2011, for a large order, something didn’t quite seem right. So rather than simply hanging up after the customer had finished his order, Lane continued to quietly listen to the man on the other end of the line. That’s when he overheard the plan to rob him during the delivery.

Lane and his manager then called 911. Between the efforts of 911 dispatchers and local police, they were able to set up a sting operation. They sent an undercover officer dressed as a pizza delivery man in Lane’s place. The criminals went through with their plan and attempted to grab the pizzas and flee, but the police already had the area surrounded and were waiting for them. Police arrested 19-year-old Kevon Whitfield and another 14-year-old who had also tried to rob a Pizza Hut the previous evening.[7]

3 Karen Vogt

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Karen Vogt was a pizza delivery driver for Mezzaluna Pizzeria in Ormond Beach, Florida, and also a favorite among its customers. However, on August 4, 2016, when Vogt attempted to deliver an order to an elderly customer who frequently ordered, and there was no answer at the door or by phone, she knew something was amiss.

After Vogt heard what she believed was a crash, she was determined to check on the customer and found a way to access the home through a door next to the garage. That’s when she saw that the customer had fallen trying to answer the door and was unable to get up. Vogt then alerted the pizzeria, who called for an ambulance while she waited with the elderly woman.

While the customer was able to come back home the next day, Vogt still felt bad that she never got to enjoy her pizza, so she paid for another one and delivered it to the woman personally.[8]

2 Kaylene White

File:Domino´s Pizza Korobki.jpg

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

When a pizza order was made incorrectly on the evening of August 31, 2016, Domino’s driver Kaylene White was sent to deliver the corrected order to the Northside Senior Apartments in Angleton, Texas. However, little did she know that she was meant to be the one making the delivery that night.

Martha Norman, a resident at the complex, has a skin condition that often caused her to scratch herself, sometimes leading to bleeding. So when she called her daughter, Cheryl Stahl, saying she was bleeding, Stahl came to the complex to assess the situation. However, when she arrived, she saw her mother as well as the apartment covered in blood. After Norman was unable to explain what happened, Stahl panicked and was so hysterical she could not unlock her phone to call for assistance. That’s when she began screaming for help, and thankfully, White came running.

White had previous experience working in the medical field and immediately took charge of the situation by grabbing towels to form a tourniquet around Norman’s legs to stop the bleeding. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they confirmed that had it not been for White’s actions, Norman may have had a much different outcome.

Additionally, given her heroic efforts, one of the paramedics on call, Jason Albert, later went into the Domino’s store to inform White’s manager what had happened to ensure she did not face any consequences for returning late from the delivery. While White doesn’t consider herself a hero, both Norman and Stahl say that they will never forget her, and they consider her a “lifelong friend.”[9]

1 Joey Grundl

Pizza Delivery Driver Saves Kidnapped Woman

Dean Hoffman forced his way into his ex-girlfriend’s home on the afternoon of September 27, 2018, where he proceeded to physically assault and hogtie her, holding her against her will. The woman naturally assumed she was going to die by Hoffman’s hand. However, Hoffman’s sinister plans were foiled when he made the mistake of ordering a pizza, which would be delivered by a very observant driver.

When Domino’s driver Joey Grundl arrived with the delivery order, the woman alerted Grundl to her black eye and mouthed the words “help me” and “call police.” Grundl kept his composure to not alert Hoffman that he knew something was wrong, and once he was back in his car, he called 911. Hoffman was arrested and charged with suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation, felony intimidation of a victim, and burglary.

Grundl was honored by Domino’s CEO and presented with the “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” award. Additionally, when Grundl was spotted wearing a Taylor Swift sweatshirt during an interview, word spread to the pop star, and Swift invited him to meet her backstage after her concert in Arlington, Texas.[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen