AUSTIN, Texas – Ryan Sivley left his Austin, Texas, home on Feb. 15 to get a Mountain Dew and a pack of cigarettes, as snow began to blanket his city. But as the weather worsened and conditions quickly became dire, the routine errand turned into a grueling four days spent hooking straps and chains to hundreds of stranded vehicles, pulling their passengers to safety.
It was just shy of a year since a horrific motorcycle accident had left Sivley, 40, badly hurt, his injuries repaired with titanium rods. Yet the physical pain in his legs, back and hips was outweighed by the emotional guilt he’d endure knowing he could help someone but didn’t.
“If it was me and my kids in a car, even if someone else was in pain, I’d still hope they’d help me, opposed to going home and laying down,” he said.
As the snow came down and the power went out, it soon became clear that thousands would be stranded in freezing temperatures, many without food and…