Last night, I was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike returning from a day trip to Long Island, New York. At about 10:30 pm, 1 mile from the King of Prussia Service Plaza, my rear passenger tire pressure warning light starting reading 11 psi, when in fact it is supposed to be 42 psi. I slowed down and thought if only I could make it to the service plaza. However, when I looked at the warning signal again it was down to 0 psi. I had to pull over or risk ruining the rim of my wheel. Thankfully there was a break down lane. Just an hour earlier I had been driving on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway where there was no breakdown lane so for this breakdown lane I was grateful.
Within seconds of my pulling over, a white truck with flashing lights pulled in front of me about a block away and proceeded to reverse towards me. I could read a sign of State Farm Insurance on the back of it. I was not quite sure what this vehicle was. I was on the phone with my husband making plans for me to call AAA (The American Automobile Association). My husband advised me to not hang up while this gentleman approached my passenger window. The gentleman informed me he was with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority. He explained that in Pennsylvania AAA has to go through the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority to send authorized towing vehicles for assistance. He offered to call AAA for me but I insisted on calling them myself. I was still not sure whether to trust him. He told me to dial *11 for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority to verify what he was telling me. He said he would remain in his truck until help arrived. He returned to his vehicle and proceeded to relocate it behind my car.
I contacted AAA who in fact put me in touch with the Turnpike Operations Center. The Turnpike operations person informed me that the gentleman from the white truck named George had already called for help and added that George was a good guy. He also informed me that someone with EVD Towing from Conshohocken would come to fix my flat tire. So for the AAA operator and the Turnpike operations person’s help I was grateful.
In fact, I researched today that State Farm Insurance and the PA Turnpike Authority partnered to offer the State Farm Safety Patrol program. They have a fleet of first responders to accidents or breakdowns on the highway. They don’t change tires or tow vehicles but they help you find the resources and provide protection in the area of the breakdown. So thankfully last night George with the State Farm Safety Patrol Program materialized out of no where to offer me safety and company while I waited for the tow truck. So for George and his help last night I was grateful.
While we waited for EVD Towing to show up another State Farm Safety Patrol truck showed up and parked in front of me. It was shift change, so George came by to say goodbye and told me that his colleague would remain with me until the tire was replaced. I thanked George for being my little guardian angel.
EVD Towing showed up pretty quickly and Mike got to work in removing my tire and setting up the spare. I was sandwiched between EVD’s brightly lit massive towing truck and the State Farm Safety patrol vehicle. I was grateful to know we were visible to other drivers and especially thankful for those drivers who switched lanes to avoid our lane.
I was glad to know I had a spare tire in my vehicle and that my husband not too long ago had checked air pressure in all of the family vehicle spare tires, so for this I was grateful. In no time Mike was done changing my flat. And yes, I was very thankful. As Mike wrapped up the “paperwork” on an electronic tablet, our State Farm Safety Patrol guy left us. Eventually Mike and his towing truck pulled out. I then continued on the last 30 miles of my journey home.
Today my husband and I examined the tire and found it has a very large puncture hole. Tomorrow I will bring the tire to our garage to determine if it can repaired or if I need a new tire. And that my friends will conclude the saga of this “fortunate event”.
What started out as an unfortunate event turned into a fortunate event. I know that everyone that helped last night was just doing their job: George (safety patrol), AAA operator, Turnpike operations person on the phone, 2nd safety patrol person, and Mike from EVD Towing. But strangely, I felt in many ways that the whole process was almost ethereal. When the flat tire incident happened I did not allow myself to become upset, instead I remained calm, mindful, and open to all of the help the Universe kept sending my way.
I was left with a deep sense of gratitude and the need to share this story. ❤️