Barbers turn heroes to save unconscious man in moving car

CLEVELAND - Unlikely heroes saved one man from possibly dying in his car Thursday.

Waverly Willis, the owner of Urban Kutz on Pearl Road says he and his colleagues noticed a man slumped at the wheel while his car was still in motion driving towards Brookpark Road.

"One of the barbers literally ran out beside the car," said Willis. "Opened the door and jumped on top of the guy."

Willis' colleagues managed to stop the car from crashing into other drivers. Willis says he called 911 and dispatchers instructed him to start CPR, a skill he makes sure all his barbers know.

"Once we pulled him out the car we knew he was overdosing," said Willis.

Willis believes the man was overdosing based on his own battle with drug and alcohol abuse. He calls himself a recovering addict who has been sober for the past 11 years.

"My heart was about to explode out of my chest," said Willis. "They came to revive the gentleman. Because I feel like he was definitely on his way to dying. He was literally turning blue and I have never witnessed anything like that in my life."

Willis tells Fox 8 he started recording the incident on his phone once paramedics arrived. Witnesses say the man was motionless.

"The guy was laid out on the corner over here stiff as a board," said John Yasencheak.

Thursday's incident happened just before a public health warning issued Saturday. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner announced seven people died from overdoses in one day.

Christopher Harris a spokesperson for the medical examiner's office says so far this year at least 350 people have died from heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil or a combination of the drugs.

"We had at least 52 deaths for the month of August," said Harris. "The highest fatality rate for opioid overdoses in a single month."

Fox 8 contacted Cleveland Police to learn more about the incident and the unidentified man. We will update this story as we get new information.