'God sent us an angel:' Trooper buys tires, lunch for family stranded on highway
Posted July 28, 2020 1:05 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2020 11:44 p.m. EDT
Johnston County, N.C. — A local family was surprised by an act of kindness from a state trooper. Now, the family has taken to Facebook to express their gratitude.
Monica Hines was in the vehicle with her boyfriend and children, driving to Duke Neurology when the back tire blew. Stranded in the middle of the highway in Johnston County with multiple children, Hines called AAA, but, Hines said, "They said we would have to get out and wait on the side of the road."
"There was nothing close to us that we could walk to," she wrote in her Facebook post.
When NC State Trooper Colby Pridgen discovered the family, he went above and beyond the call of duty.
Pridgen used his own money purchase four new tires for the family, and he also paid for lunch for the kids and a full tank of gas.
"God sent us an angel," wrote Hines.
Hines said the trooper paid to replace the flat tire, then put it onto the vehicle himself. But afterwards – a surprise: He bought three more brand new tires for the family.
"God bless this man," wrote Hines.
Pridgen also paid for lunch for the kids, who were hungry after a long ordeal.
"He bought my kids food, and then we went to the gas station. As I was getting out of the car, he closed my door and went to the pump and put his card in and gave us a full tank," wrote Hines.
Paying it forward
Earlier the same day, Pridgen himself had been the recipient of an act of kindness. "I believe in paying an act of kindness forward. Someone helped me out earlier that day, and I just felt like it was meant to be when I ran into this family," he said.
He said he noticed the family vehicle's other three tires were in bad shape, "I couldn't let them ride all the way back to Jacksonville with their kids on tires like that," he said.
Sometimes, he said, people just need a breath of fresh air.
Hines expressed similar feelings, saying how stressed the family was over the ordeal – until an act of kindness turned their day around.
"This was a real bad day for us, but on this day God sent us an angel," she wrote.
Hines' Facebook post expresses that she was moved to tears while writing her gratitude. "You didn't have to use money out of your own pocket – but you just told us to save our money and do something nice for our kids."
She wrote that his actions gave her hope and let her know there are still good people in this world. "I will never forget you."
A Facebook page has been set up to reimburse Pridgen for his personal funds that he used.