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'Oh my gosh!' Raleigh woman's snow photo goes viral

Posted February 13, 2014 11:55 a.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 2:03 p.m. EDT

Lindsay Webb of Raleigh shot this picture of the chaos on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh on Feb. 13, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Webb)

— Of the thousands of snow photos taken in North Carolina on Wednesday, one of the most talked about and shared shots came from a Raleigh woman who captured the chaos on Glenwood Avenue.

The photo, which shows a car on fire as vehicles struggle nearby to get up a snow-slicked hill on Glenwood Avenue, quickly spread across the Internet and was featured on several sites, including CNN, The Huffington Post, Gawker, Slate and Reddit.

“This morning, I turn on the news, and I’m watching CNN, and my photo came up, and I’m like, 'Oh my gosh!'" said Lindsay Webb, who shot the picture with her iPhone and says the photo is 100 percent authentic.

Webb, who works as a stylist at Blo salon at Brier Creek, says she had been in the car for three hours with a stranger who asked for a ride when she took the picture.

“As soon as we got on top of the hill, we could see the conditions. So many of the cars were off the road. People were trying to weave their way up the hill, people were getting out and pushing other people’s cars, or just walking around," she said. 

“People were trying to push it, and the wheels were spinning. Then, smoke started to come from the hood. At first, you’re thinking, 'Well, that car’s not going anywhere.' But then the hood lit up, and it was no time before that car was on fire,” she added.

About that time, Webb says, her boss contacted her to see if she made it home safely.

“I said, 'No, I’m sitting in front of Angus Barn, and a car just blew up in front of me.' And then I sent him the picture,'" she said.

Her boss then shared the photo, and it took off in ways Webb never expected. She has since received calls from a news outlet in Berlin, Germany, that wanted to know if she shot any video of the scene.

“In the moment, you’re not thinking about newsworthy. You’re just, 'What in the world?'" she said.

Webb says she doesn't know the identity of the woman on the phone in the foreground in the picture. WRAL News found the mystery woman, Michelle Everest of Raleigh, who says she didn't know about the photo's existence until Thursday morning.

"That's funny, like I'm 007," she said, laughing at her appearance in the ominous photo.

Everest says she was stuck on Glenwood for four and a half hours Wednesday and was talking to a friend on the phone when the photo was snapped.

"I was walking back to the car and telling her, 'I'm getting back to the car (to) make sure I'm not blocking anything,'" she said.

Everest says she hates having her picture taken but has enjoyed seeing how the photo has spread.

For those who doubt the authenticity of the picture, Webb says she wants to assure people that it's real. "I didn’t Photoshop any of it," she said. "I was there. I took it with my iPhone."

'Oh my gosh!' Raleigh woman's snow photo goes viral