Sarah Bruce’s senses told her something might be terribly wrong. She could smell the gas and hear the radio playing. The blue pickup truck was upside down. Shattered glass on the asphalt. A water bottle halfway out the window.
She got ready to jump into lifesaving mode.
"I know CPR. I went up to the car expecting to help somebody," she said.
But there was no one to save and no one in sight under the remote area of I-95 near the Delaware River in Northeast Philly.
Sarah had ventured down toward the river with her husband and son Sunday for a little fun with the family’s potato gun.
"Don’t knock it till you try it,” she said.
They were headed to their familiar spot on the water, which you can only get to by a dirt road. Right after they pulled off State Road and under the interstate, they saw the truck.
"It was there in the middle of a huge dirt lot ... The truck was heavily damaged and had dirt on all sides, as if it had rolled once or twice. We approached, and opened the driver’s side door, to be certain that no one was trapped. There were tools and such strewn about, and all of the windows were shattered. I called 911 immediately.”
About 20 minutes later, a Philadelphia Police officer showed up and assured Sarah he’d take care of everything. No questions. No report. Within the hour, a tow truck hauled the truck away, leaving Sarah with a mystery she was determined to solve.
"The whole thing is just really weird. Really bizarre. I posted the pictures on my Facebook page last night and I guess somebody passed it along to the news.”
We showed Sarah’s pictures to Philly Police who got back to us within minutes to say: Mystery solved.
"Within an hour and a half, that truck was stolen, wrecked and recovered," said police spokeswoman Officer Christine O’Brien.
The owner left his truck running while he ran inside a store Sunday afternoon around 5 p.m.
"We have no idea who stole it. But whoever flipped it probably just took off running. Lucky for them, they're probably not seriously hurt, but we are checking with local hospitals just in case," O'Brien said.
Sarah was relieved to find out the worst-case scenarios that she imagined could have happened, didn’t.
"I’m just glad that no one was seriously injured. Really glad."