Car dealership employees recall moment they realized distant yelling was a woman in need of help

PITTSBURGH — First responders believe the woman sat down on a retaining wall inside of Frank Curto Park along Bigelow Boulevard and then accidentally fell backward. She fell nearly 40 feet down the hillside into tall trees and bushes, it took rescuers hours before they could find her.

>>> Emergency crews rescue woman who fell 40 feet from retaining wall in Pittsburgh’s Strip District

“It was around 10 a.m. we heard yelling from the hill we didn’t know what it was,” said Dan Ford, an employee at a nearby car dealership.

Dan Ford and Jay Moio were working Saturday morning at the Audi car dealership on Liberty Avenue when they began hearing yelling but couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from.

“We thought there was just somebody messing around or something else up until about an hour and a half later when we continued to hear them,” Moio said.

At that point, they tried to find the voice, so they walked over to the train tracks behind the dealership. But again, they couldn’t see anyone.

“We walked over to these train tracks and started yelling back and we were yelling like ‘Hey, where are you? Are you alright?’ And all we got back was, ‘I need help. I need help.’ That’s when we decided to call the police,” Ford explained.

Above the dealership sits a park along Bigelow Boulevard. The voice they were hearing was a woman who had fallen nearly 40 feet. Police believe she may have been sitting on a wall when she fell backward into the tall trees that line the hillside.

“Oh, it took a while, it was a couple hours and then you could hear the chainsaw going as they were cutting her out up there,” Ford said.

“I think it’s the bystander effect where everyone thinks everyone else is going to do something,” Moio said.

It is unclear when the woman fell or how long she was yelling for help, but officials said the rescue took hours. Police, EMS, and the Fire Department all had to work together to get her out safely.

As for Moio and Ford, they said they’re just happy they trusted their gut and called 911.

“It feels good to know that we helped someone,” Moio said.

That woman has not been identified, but officials said she is in her 30s and has several broken bones. She is still in the hospital recovering.

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