TRAVERSE CITY — Jenice Kroon knows almost nothing about Scott Peterson except that he was there offering a hand when she needed help.
She certainly didn’t know his reputation for being an all-around nice guy — a rare breed of guy who still believes in lending elbow grease to a neighbor or stopping to help a stranded motorist.
“I felt really blessed to have him stop and help me,” Kroon said. “He said ‘We’ll be able to get you out.’ He was really kind. I just want him to know I’m very thankful for him stopping to help me.”
The sun was setting, the air was cold and Kroon’s car was stuck in a snow bank Jan. 29 when she first met Peterson. Kroon, 21, and a student at Calvin College, was headed toward her childhood home near Ellsworth that Wednesday night before continuing to Sault Ste. Marie to visit her fiancee.
Peterson, 56, quickly set to work positioning his pickup truck and attaching a tow strap to Kroon’s car. A few other passersby stopped to help before Peterson, but didn’t have the ability to complete the tow.
It wouldn’t take but a minute to get Kroon’s sedan dislodged from the deep snow bordering U.S. 131. But it was a minute that nearly cost Peterson his life.
“I was looking the other direction and he was walking back to his truck when it happened,” Kroon said. She saw something out of the corner of her eye, heard a crash and turned to see Peterson lying injured on the ground.
A passing car careened out of control on a patch of ice, hit Peterson’s pickup and slammed it into him. He briefly was pinned between his pickup and Kroon’s car.
The other people who had stopped and a retired EMT who witnessed the wreck began to tend to Peterson’s injuries.