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Mailman saves mother and son from large falling tree limb

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A mother and son have a local on-duty mailman to thank for stopping a tree limb from falling on their car Tuesday morning.

Susan Barrett and her son were driving down Garrison Road on her way to the bank Tuesday morning when she saw a mailman walk out into the road.

“I couldn’t figure out what he was looking at,” said Barrett. “It was just really odd. You don’t normally see a mailman walking down the middle of the road. All of a sudden he put his hands out and said ‘stop!’”

Barrett stopped, her tires squealing.

Seconds later, a large branch fell from a tree, right behind the mailman.

“I just froze for a few minutes,” said Barrett, “and my son turned and looked at me and said ‘we could have been killed.’”

The mailman was Glens Falls mailman John Richichi.

Richichi was going to his usual stops on Garrison Road when he started to hear a strange noise.

“It was like if you’re bending a board. I mean a ‘rrrrrr’, like sound,” said Richichi.

Minutes later, he realized the sound was coming from a large tree near the road.

Richichi says for some reason he knew a limb was going to fall off of the tree.

He looked both ways and saw a car coming down the street.

“I was going to run like hell if I had to, and as long as there was someone else coming, I knew that they could have gotten hit too,” said Richichi.

Richichi acted on instinct and ran into the middle of the road, waving his hands in front of him.

While Richichi says he never expected to do something like that, Bob Bruno, who live on Garrison Road, says he wasn’t surprised one bit. He says Richichi is a warm, humble man.

“He saved two lives that day,” says Bruno. “He saved two lives, there’s no question in my mind.”

Richichi says the mother and son in the car are thanking him for their lives and calling him a hero.

But he says he doesn’t think of himself that way. He says he was just in the right place at the right time.

“It just happened so fast. I would hope anyone else would look around and see if somebody’s hurt, if somebody’s gonna get hurt,” said Richichi. “Everybody should look out for one another. I guess some degree.”

But for Barrett and her son, there’s no doubt Richichi is a hero.

Barrett says she never expected something like this to happen, but she’s thankful Richichi was there.

“He was there, thank god he was, to save us,” she said.

All this happened on Richichi’s 30th anniversary on the job, which Richichi says is a bizarre coincidence.

The tree was removed by the end of the day.