A photo of an Arizona firefighter reading a book to a little boy whose mother was in a car accident has gone viral.
Shana Pacheco, 32, was involved in a two-car crash on Dec. 18, Today reported. Her 2-year-old daughter and her 4-year-old son Lucas were in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Chandler firefighter Russell Whaley and his crew arrived at the scene and starting checking out Pacheco and her daughter because they had the most visible damage.
“My son started getting worried and scared,” Pacheco said. “He was nervous seeing me with an oxygen mask and all this stuff on me.”
That’s when Whaley decided to do something. He struck up a conversation with Lucas about his Ninja Turtles T-shirt.
“The next thing I know, we have a book in front of us and he's sitting on my lap and we're reading a book on the side of the freeway,” Whaley explained.
Whaley kept the boy entertained while Pacheco gave her statement to police. A passerby, Steffani Blair, who is a nurse, captured a photo of Whaley reading to the boy. She witnessed the crash and stopped to check if everyone was OK.
Blair posted the photo on Facebook and it quickly went viral.
“This sweet photo is from an accident I happened to be at today, I stopped at the scene because no emergency crews had yet arrived and I wanted to be sure everyone was alright. There were two adorable children, slightly scared, but both okay in one of the cars. After being assured that everyone was truly okay, I sat with this sweet little boy until the 'good guys' came in their fire trucks to do a better assessment. A little bit later, I captured this sweet picture of one of Chandler's finest reading to this amazing little boy. Be kind to our first responders, they have a tough job, and they do it EXCEPTIONALLY well. Grateful to have witnessed this sweet tender mercy today.”
Pacheco said she was grateful to Whaley.
“The whole crew stayed with us until my husband got there and was able to take us home,” she said. “They obviously didn't have to do that, I'm sure they had other calls.”
As for Whaley, he said it was just another day at the job.
“There's only one thing I was disappointed about that day -- we never got to finish the book!” he said.