Can a car ever be considered a hero? There are some people in Moore, Oklahoma who might see the bright orange 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon known as "Stomper" that way. Though the Jeep was badly damaged, its owner reportedly used it to rescue people from the devastating storm. And now Stomper is getting a full rebuild.
As told by C4x4 Magazine, the tale of Stomper begins two weeks when owner Bryan Hutton and his 2-and-a-half year old son Randy traveled from their home in Dayton, Ohio to his parents' house in Moore. When the tornado sirens went off, Hutton locked the Jeep in the garage in 4-Low with the lockers on and made his way to the family storm shelter.
He did it just in time, as the tornado tore through the neighborhood, flattening entire houses. After checking around to find that some people were trapped in their houses, Hutton realized the Jeep could prove useful in helping people — if only it were still in one shape.
Miraculously, the magazine reports, Stomper the Jeep still ran, despite having been thoroughly trashed when the tornado came through. He started it up, dug out of what was left of the garage, and then used its 8,000 pound winch and a cable to help people out of their homes and aid first responders when they arrived. The Jeep helped transport paramedics and even move some kids out of the area.
But the storm had taken its toll, and when it was all over, Bryan realized that STomper was likely totaled. From C4x4:
Well I think we are safe in saying “WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE JEEP KEEPS GOING”. Not only did Bryan’s 2012 Stomper Rubi stand tall during the disaster of the Moore, OK. tornado, I think we all must agree that Bryan indeed was a HERO as well as he jumped in and worked tirelessly in the rescuing of his friends and neighbors.
About the time Bryan had made peace with the fact that his beloved Rubi would soon be finding a new how at the insurance salvage pool his pictures hit facebook and spread like wide fire. He began getting messages from all around.
According to the magazine's story, Crocker Off Road Performance in Phoenix found out about Hutton's story, and have agreed to give the Jeep a rebuild once it is released from the insurance adjusters. There's also a Facebook fanpage that's tracking the rebuild's progress.
Disasters like the Moore tornado always tend to bring out the best and the worst in people. It certainly brought out the best in Bryan Hutton, who is to be commended for his bravery and for what he did for his community on that terrible day.
It also brought out the best in that Jeep Wrangler. Rock climbing is fun and all, but what's more badass than rescuing people?
Can't wait to see how the rebuild goes. We'll be keeping an eye on this one.
Photos credit Rebuilding of Stomper Facebook page
Thanks for the tips everyone!