Readers share rescues great and small that start with a call
April 3, 2008
Much has been written about the danger of driving while using a cell phone. But if you’ve ever been stranded—out of gas, in a crash or even on a roof—you know that these gadgets can come to the rescue.
Last year, ERIE called on our readers to let us know how your cell phone helped you out in a jam. Many of you did just that.
Barreling through a blizzard
“The day after a Valentine’s Day snowstorm hit, I was stranded on I-81 in Pennsylvania on my way home from Washington, D.C. Normally the drive takes 4 ½ hours, but this one took 18 hours.
At about 2 p.m. in Lebanon, Pa., the nightmare began. The interstate was down to one lane; it was snow covered with huge ruts, black ice, and abandoned cars and trucks scattered haphazardly over the road. Traffic crawled.
As the hours passed and nightfall came, my phone gave me a great sense of security and was especially comforting when the traffic came to a complete halt for four hours between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. My family took turns talking to me throughout the night. Their concern was that I was safe and warm. And they kept reminding me to ventilate the car when it was running. I don’t know what I would have done without my cell phone and car charger.
Finally I made it home, but never would have imagined when I left D.C. that beautiful sunny morning what I was in store for.”
Cell phone sheds light on bad situation
“I was traveling with my son, daughter-in-law and their two children from Cleveland, Ohio, to Sheffield, Pa. The van started stalling out and it continued throughout the whole drive. Finally, as dusk turned to darkness, we pulled over. My son used my cell phone, which has a built-in flashlight, to work on the van. We got back on the road. Then, 30 miles from home we hit a deer. The van couldn’t be driven. Once again the cell phone saved us – this time by calling for roadside assistance. We were grateful for my phone that night.”
Sugar Grove, Pa.
Flipped over four-wheeler
“It was December and 75 degrees in Lynchburg, Va. My husband, Barry, decided to take a vacation day and ride his four-wheeler on Candler’s Mountain. He was by himself.
At 11:45 a.m. I got a call from him and he said: ‘I’m glad you’re there. I’ve been in an accident. I can’t feel my legs.’ You can only imagine what was going through my mind.
The Lynchburg Police Department met me at the entrance of Candler’s Mountain. Fortunately, Barry was found about three hours later by one of the officers. He had broken his back in two places, stayed in the hospital for seven days and then had major back surgery. We no longer own four-wheelers!”
Car wash hostage
One fall evening, I stopped at the local automatic car wash. I pulled in and after the wash cycle was complete, a light on the panel flashed, “Thank you. Please exit.” The exit door only lifted about 12 inches before it got stuck. There I was in the car wash, water dripping everywhere, trying to figure out what I was going to do. I used my cell phone and called an emergency number. Shortly afterwards, a man showed up and got the door open.
I used to sometimes leave home without my cell phone—not anymore.
-- Lisa Randow
I was driving to work at 6:30 a.m. on a rural road that goes through a state park. Three deer ran across the road and hit my Jeep Cherokee, causing it to flip over, inflating the air bags and leaving me trapped inside the smoking vehicle. None of the doors would open. Fortunately I had my cell phone and dialed 911. Within minutes, the police and paramedics arrived. I had cracked ribs from the airbags and minor cuts from the broken glass.
Someone convinced me to get a cell phone and I finally caved. I’m so glad.
-- Christine Yannes
White Haven, Pa.
‘I would have died’
I was at an intersection on my way home from work when I got a sharp pain on the right side of my head. I started to panic because I knew something was wrong. I pulled over and remembered I had my cell phone. I called 911 and requested an ambulance. I vaguely recall the attendants taking me out of the car. The next thing I remember was the ride to Southern Maryland Hospital Center. A CAT scan revealed a brain aneurysm. The doctors did not think I would make it through the night.
I spent 64 days in a rehabilitation hospital. Without my cell phone, I would have died in my car.
-- Alice Ford
I visit San Francisco every year and enjoy my very spry 78-year-old aunt. Following her Senior Stretch Class at the local senior center, Aunt Josephine was attending a presentation on managing medications. The participants were to bring their personal list of medications with them. My aunt forgot her list, but I was able to call her home on my cell phone and her son took a picture of the medication list so she could still participate in the program. It made our day!
-- Audrey DiPlacido
I was building a barn in a rural area and I climbed up a ladder from the second story to the attic area to work. As I was working, the ladder fell over. I had no way to get down. If I would have tried to jump or slide down a wall, I would have been hurt badly.
I’m so glad I had a cell phone on me. I called my mom and she contacted a neighbor who happened to be home. He gladly came and put the ladder up so I could get down.
-- Dale Wright
Winfield, W. Va.