Tow truck driver stops to help man in Pike tunnel on wheelchair

BOSTON — Several motorists were caught off guard as they made their way onto the Massachusetts Turnpike inside the Prudential Tunnel Tuesday morning.

A man using a wheelchair was caught on video riding alongside the edge of the highway until a AAA tow truck driver stopped to help.

Police say it happened just inside the tunnel here on the westbound side of the Pike. Of course, people, bicycles or horses are not allowed on the Pike, but somehow a man using a wheelchair ended up down there.

State police say it was a 56-year-old Boston man using a wheelchair along the right side wall of the Pike. Moments later, video shows the AAA road service technician pull into the shot and police say he uses his truck and yellow lights to help keep cars away from the man in the wheelchair.

"I slowed down even more and tossed all the lights on the truck and I called my dispatcher." AAA road service technician Waylon Mills said. "I tried to angle the truck in such a way I could as much as possible so just in case the guy moved out to the left so he wouldn't get hit. The truck would be right there."

Police say the wheelchair was not motorized, and Mills' dispatcher was thrown for a loop when he called it in.

"When I said it to her it sounded like a joke because you don't expect to see anyone out there in a wheelchair on the Pike," he said. "When I saw one car fly by I felt a little uneasy. But I was glad I was able to use the truck to save him."

Mills stayed on scene until a state police trooper told him the man was going to be okay.

The man was taken over to the hospital to be checked out. State police say he is okay, though it's unclear right now why he went down into the tunnel.

State Police did tell Boston 25 News it has an outreach team that has a rapport with the homeless people in the tunnel area, and they watch out for those who wander through the busy lanes of highway traffic.

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