Josh Romney helped Utah crash victims on Thanksgiving
Josh Romney, son of Mitt Romney, said Friday morning that he was the first person to arrive at the scene after an SUV carrying a family of four crashed into a Holladay home Thanksgiving night.
"[The SUV] came right past our car and into the house," Romney said in a phone call Friday morning.
In a written statement, he offered more detail:
"Last night, after Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and family, I drove with my wife and children to my home. We exited I-215 South at 4500 South and came to a stop at the intersection. Just then, a vehicle traveling at highway speed passed narrowly by my car, through the intersection and into the kitchen of a home across the street.
"I drove to the accident site and entered the home where the car had come to a stop on its side. I opened the car door and spoke with the four passengers inside the car. Miraculously, they appeared to have no major injuries. I was able to help each of them get out of the car and lift them down to the ground.
"My family and I are grateful that no one was seriously injured and glad to have been able to help those affected by this terrible accident. What I did to help the people involved in the accident is what anyone else would do who witnessed such a potentially dangerous situation."
He also tweeted about the wreck early Friday, along with a picture of himself smiling next to the vehicle:
"Was first on scene to big accident, see pic of car in the house. I lifted 4 people out to safety. All ok. Thankful."
The 44-year-old driver of the SUV exited Interstate 215 onto 4500 South and did not stop at a stop sign, instead traveling through an intersection and into a house, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal has said. The wreckage left the home "unlivable," Hoyal said. No one inside the home was injured. The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.
Hoyal on Friday confirmed that Romney was in fact at the scene.
Reactions to Romney's tweet ranged from praise for helping in an emergency to criticism for posing for a photograph in front of an accident scene.
"God bless you," wrote Twitter user Cheryl Ryan. "He made you an angel for those people."
Others accused Romney of self-promotion.
"Why are you smiling like a tourist at such a horrific scene?" wrote Twitter user Laila Yuile.
By mid-morning Friday, the website TheWrap.com had posted a word-by-word analysis of Romney's tweet, noting that it was appropriate to note the family was OK and that he was thankful, but that posing with the car and using the word "I" contributed to perceptions that the tweet amounted to "humblebrag."
"All in all, great job on the car rescue, so-so job on the tweeting," the analysis concluded.
This is the second time a vehicle has struck the house, Hoyal noted.