Local News

Stranded motorists share tales of kindness amid chaos

Posted February 12, 2014
Updated February 12, 2016

— Triangle roads were gridlocked Wednesday by a snowstorm that ground traffic to a halt and trapped thousands of residents on the roads.

But there was charity amid the chaos.

Residents from across the region reported random acts of kindness by strangers who helped them push their stuck and sliding cars or even gave them a ride home.

Allison Pia was trying to drive home from work in Cary when she was trapped in the gridlock and decided to leave her car in a store parking lot. She called her mom, Darlene Sekel, who advised her to walk toward the house.

Sekel started walking to meet her, and the two encountered each other near a roundabout on Chatham Road.

That’s also where they found a guy named Tony.

“This wonderful man named Tony in a huge gray truck stopped in front of (Allison) and said, ‘Hey, do you need some help?’” Sekel said. “He picked us up and took us both home.”

Tony wouldn’t give them his last name or contact information or take Sekel up on an offer of a hot drink to warm up. The mystery man told her he had to be on his way to help other stranded drivers.

“I want to give a shout out to Tony in Cary,” Sekel said. “Thank you for helping us.”

In Raleigh, Rosemary Brookshire was stuck on Wade Avenue about 2:30 p.m. after her vehicle couldn’t make it up an incline.

She turned to find five men rallying to her rescue.

“These guys had been helping another car, and when they saw me, they jumped over and started scraping under my tires until I finally got up the hill,” Brookshire said. “Somehow, I eventually made it home, but I’d sure still be there if they hadn’t helped.”

Brookshire said she wanted to get their names so she could give them a little cash reward for helping her. But the men are Hispanic and don’t speak English, and Brookshire doesn’t speak Spanish.

“But we all smiled a lot,” she said. “What a predicament.”


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  • childerscarolyn Feb 13, 2014

    Thank you to Tony H! My husband and I had gotten stuck on a hill on Creedmoor Rd trying to get home and we thought we were going to have to walk home and leave our car. Then this wonderful young man, Tony H., (only 19 years old) offered to tow us to our home in Wildwood Green. In talking with him as he and my husband were connecting tow ropes we found out he lived in our neighborhood. He towed us out of the traffic congestion on Creedmoor Rd and all the way home. We are so thankful to get home that evening before dark. This young man told us he was going back to help others that needed help. What a wonderful young man.

  • klharing23 Feb 13, 2014

    Thank you to William from Raleigh for picking up a stranger as I was making my way on foot from Durham to Apex to meet my husband... words cant describe how appreciative I am for your kind gesture when I didnt think I was ever going to make it home... I hope you made it safely as well and thanks again!

  • Jackson Smith Feb 13, 2014
    user avatar

    So the city of Raleigh is paying the $100 towing fee for abandoned cars. That is great for those who did not plan properly and do not have a car that should be on the road in snow and ice conditions. Nice move Raleigh. My tax dollars are going to people who are not showing any intelligence at all.

  • zigspal Feb 13, 2014

    3 hours, 45 minutes - 6.3 miles:
    Had no choice but to take my Mazda Miata downtown yesterday as I was serving on a jury and the judge made clear that absence would not be tolerated.
    Streets were already bad when I left downtown at 1:30 pm and my car kept sliding and spinning on the ice. Going uphill was virtually impossible; more often than not I'd end up spinning into a snowbank and getting stuck. No one would stop to help; they'd just pull around me and keep going. God sent two angels in the form of two young guys trying to make it to Virginia. Using both their bodies and their car, they literally pushed, pulled and dragged the Miata up every hill, through the slick spots and out of the snow banks, about every 10 minutes for the next 3 hours/4 miles until ditched my car in a parking lot and walked the remaining 2 miles home. As long as I live I will never forget their help and kindness; without them I'd likely still be stuck somewhere on the road. I hope they made it safely home.

  • apacemail Feb 13, 2014

    Heading west on Western Boulevard from downtown Raleigh yesterday afternoon, there was a man and woman and young lady in a navy blue truck who pushed me no fewer than 5 times. They helped others as well at each traffic blockage. They assured me that they wouldn't abandon me, even without knowing my destination . . . I lost them very close to my home in Cary. I will seek them out to properly say "Thank you!" with some intense investigation, but in the meantime, I smile tremendously as I say that there are some truly good people here in The Triangle. Thank you, folks, whoever you are!!!! (Gratitude expressed by the lady in the Crown Vic and black hat. :) )

  • disgusted2010 Feb 13, 2014

    Please, this is not news. I guess it is only news and out of character for the new comers who are only used to bullying their way ahead of others. Like those two I saw earlier parked in the only travel lane digging out their car from last night.

  • debrab Feb 13, 2014

    I must again thank the men who were on Old Creedmoor Road. They pulled a couple of cars out of ditches and gave several of us rides home in a 4 wheel drive SUV. Without them, I would have walked home 4 miles in the snow without proper shoes! I had to abandon my car once I saw others could not make it up the hills and around the curves on Old Creedmoor. I am very grateful to have made it home safely due to their help.

  • Hippy_mom Feb 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, and people who bash our state need to remember that.:-)

  • nviktor Feb 13, 2014

    There was a group of 4-5 girls on Davis Dr. and Waldo Rood Blvd. yesterday around 3pm helping every car that got stuck. My deepest respect to all those who came out to help!!,

  • 68_dodge_polara Feb 12, 2014

    Anyone here of need of the need for emergency transportation for tomorrow like for hospital workers and such?