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How a Detroit traffic officer went viral after $50,000 surprise from TikTok influencer

How a Detroit traffic officer went viral after $50,000 surprise from TikTok influencer
How a Detroit traffic officer went viral after $50,000 surprise from TikTok influencer 03:10

(CBS DETROIT) - When it's time to cross the street, everyone is taught to look both ways. But outside where the Tigers play, Detroit traffic control officer Linita Edge is the eyes and ears on Woodward Avenue and Montcalm Street.

"Be safe. Have a great evening. Oh, your hair is gorgeous," Edge said as a little girl smiled back in her direction.

As Edge explains, she's that's so no one gets hurt. But Mother's Day weekend in Detroit, it was her life that would change forever thanks to a $1 t-shirt.

"This guy comes up to me, you know. I'm waving traffic, doing my thing and just wishing everyone a happy Mother's Day. When he asked about purchasing the t-shirt, I'm like I could but I am on duty right now. A dollar for a jersey?" Edge said.

There, by her surprise, was Zachery Dereniowski, a TikTok influencer and the man behind one of the most popular social media pages on the internet, "MDMotivator."

"I was like you go ahead and go on but he stood there so patient. It didn't matter that I was doing traffic. It was like he was on a heavenly sent assignment," Edge says.

Before she knew it, Dereniowski was inviting her to watch her favorite team, the Detroit Tigers.

"We are going to the game right now." Dereniowski said in the video.

Getting off work early and cutting her check short was her fear. But thanks to $500 from Dereniowski and a life-changing check at Comerica Park, Edge was brought to tears.

"The people of Detroit have watched the video and donated an additional $50,000," announcer Chris Butzlaff said over the stadium intercom.

Edge dropped to her knees in disbelief. 

"Oh my god, oh my word. Just thank you Lord," she said.

On Wednesday, Edge was back on the job for the first time since MDMotivator on TikTok made her cry.  

"Yeah man. Congratulations. That was awesome," a Tigers fan told Edge as he recognized her from the now viral video.

Over 9 million views later, Edge says she is back doing what she loves.

"Congratulations. Well deserved. You know where it came from. He heard you," another fan said as he gave Edge a hug in the middle of the intersection. 

"Yeah he did. Don't make me cry out here," Edge replied.

But what can't escape Edge's mind, is just how fast her life changed thanks to a shirt worth 10 dimes.

"Who knew a t-shirt would change my life," Edge says.

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