Good Samaritan, Stellar Student, Internet Star

Posted on December 12, 2013

Good Samaritan Josh Suppa sitting on concrete steps with his backpack next to him

What do you get when you blend Internet stardom with youthful exuberance and life-saving decision-making skills? You get Josh Suppa, a 22-year-old college senior. On the surface, Josh is just like any college senior, but with a huge appreciation for OnStar — and with good reason.

Last year, Josh was coming home from school when he saw a car flip upside down in the middle of the road. "It looked like something out of my worst nightmare, a terrible dream," Josh said. "Something you wouldn’t want to see someone in. My heart dropped. I didn’t know if they were dead … or if they were alive or if they were struggling.”

Ever the cool customer, Josh reached up, almost instinctively, and the rest is history.

"When you come across something that’s so traumatizing you don’t know what to think or do, but it felt natural to reach up and hit the red emergency button," he said. "I didn’t even know where my cell was at. I didn’t even think of calling 911. I was told when I purchased the vehicle that OnStar would always be there. So I just hit the red button."

And with a simple push of a button certain tragedy was avoided and lives were saved as the police, ambulance and fire rescue arrived at the scene just in time. Anxious to lend a hand, Josh asked the Advisor if he should get out of the car to check on the passengers, but was told to remain in the car.

“A few minutes later sirens were flashing,” Josh said. “It was all handled.” And not a moment too soon.

“The state police told me if it was called in any later than there would have absolutely been fatalities," Josh said.

Flash-forward a year later, and a lot has changed for Josh. He’s set to graduate in the spring and already contemplating a future prominently featuring 3-letter acronyms. CEO? CFO? But not before earning his MBA.

Josh even traded in his trusty 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ, the car he was in during that fateful day of the accident, for his beloved 2012 Buick Regal — something he’s customized from the grille to the tires, and has even grander plans for down the road. After work, you can find Josh poring over his car, looking for a way to make it more distinctive than the rest.

Josh’s good-natured personality and strong work ethic helped him do something most 20-somethings only dream of — gain mass attention on the Internet. The brush with Internet stardom launched with a promotional video he shot for his employer, a chain convenience store near his home in Speers, Penn. The video ushered in nearly 200,000 views along with even more shares on various social media channels. For his efforts, Josh was prominently featured in his college newspaper, and his story even graced the school’s homepage. It’s fair to say life has been good for Josh, yet it all pales in comparison to Josh’s courageous act in the face of tragedy.

Although the accident is in his rearview mirror, and Josh is focused on his next steps in life, a tiny piece of that accident bares its head on a weekly basis for Josh, reminding him of his good fortune and being in the right place to assist others.

Nearly every day on his 45-minute commute to school, Josh passes by Pittsburgh Road — the scene of the accident. But it’s not a feeling of fear that washes over him — more of a feeling of reassurance since he knows he’s never traveling alone. He always has his trusty travel companion. "It still gives me great feelings that I had OnStar with me to help me get through it," Josh said. "I still recall that OnStar was there to help me through. OnStar was there."

And OnStar continues to be there for Josh and his friends during drives to sporting events or to the next golf course. They also utilize OnStar when trying to find new restaurants.

“I always have a lot of people in my car. No matter where we are going, I hit the blue button. If we’re in the mood for Mexican food, Chinese food, I hit the button and an Advisor routes us there.”1

Being an OnStar user and Good Samaritan is simply part of Josh’s makeup. “I am always looking out for everyone,” Josh said. He credits his helpful nature to his family, who also instilled the importance of hard work into his daily life. “I know my family is proud of my actions and where I’m headed.”


1. Visit for details and system limitations. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers.