EL CAJON, Calif. — A man hopped out of his van at a San Diego County intersection and helped an elderly woman cross the street last month.
The moment was caught on video, quickly spreading joy online.
The man’s act of kindness happened June 25 in El Cajon. Ryleigh Pittman and her boyfriend were headed for an afternoon swim, hoping to beat the East County heat, she told FOX5SanDiego.com in a phone interview.
The pair stopped at a red light on East Madison Avenue at Main Street. Pittman, sitting in the passenger seat, suddenly noticed the driver’s side door sitting wide open on the van closest to the stoplight. She felt concerned, looking for someone injured or a case of road rage.
Instead she spotted him, the abandoned vehicle’s driver, walking patiently alongside an elderly woman as she shuffled across the crosswalk, dragging a cane.
“I connected the dots, and I thought that was just so sweet,” Pittman told FOX 5.
She raised her phone and recorded the interaction, zooming in to show the driver’s door and then panning over to the pair slowly crossing the road.
Before long, the light turned green. Pittman and her boyfriend were sitting in the other lane, so they drove through the intersection before the man jogged back to his van and took off.
But Pittman’s 10-second video captured the touching moment permanently. Shared online, it took off, with an outpouring of support for the driver. Commenters said it was just the sign of human decency they needed.
A post on the popular Good News Movement Instagram account garnered over 50,000 likes.
“‘This made my day,’ ‘This made me cry,'” Pittman said, recalling a few of the comments she received.
The response was so strong, “I kind of got overwhelmed,” she told FOX 5. “This is crazy, so many people are affected by this.”
It’s an indelible summer memory for Pittman, a Monte Vista High School graduate who’s headed to Arizona State University in the fall. And, to her, it’s a sign of positivity at a time of increased distress and disconnection.
“There’s still goodness in the world,” she said. “There’s still good people.”