Plow driver rescues 5-year-old West Bend boy from freezing cold

A little boy in the freezing cold was rescued by a snowplow driver. The 5-year-old wandered from his West Bend home wearing only his pajamas.

As David Gehrke started his route Friday morning, Feb. 12, he thought he saw an animal, but quickly realized it was the boy. He stopped the truck, picked the boy up, and called the police.

"I had to really take a double-take," Gehrke said. "Here it was a small child standing on the corner there at four in the morning. It’s only five degrees outside."

The 5-year-old came wandering by near Kilbourn and River Road in West Bend, near the start of Gehrke's route.

"I turned my truck around and went back, and here he had nothing on, but just the zip-up pajamas," said Gehrke.

David Gehrke

Gehrke stopped his plow, and the boy came running toward him.

"My first question for him, I said, 'Where do you live?' He pointed down the road, several houses down the road," Gehrke said.

The snowplow driver brought the shivering boy into his truck and called police.

"He said, 'mom and dad are not home and I want to see grandpa,'" said Gehrke.

David Gehrke

Police said the boy wandered out of his home while a caregiver slept. Gehrke is still in disbelief about what happened.

"I never in my life thought I would see something like this," Gehrke said, happy to be in the right place at the right time, rescuing a little boy.

"I did not have any second thought, I needed to do it.  It was cold outside.  I needed to do it."

Police awarded Gehrke with a citizen's award for his heroic actions. They said the boy's parents are not being investigated; this was simply a child who wandered from home.

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