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The Madera Tribune

The nightmare that didn’t happen

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webmaster | 11/01/13

This is a story about a train wreck that didn’t happen and acts of kindness that did.

Sunday night, about 7, I was driving down Pine Street when my front tire blew out; the car surged right, and both right wheels were hung up over the train track. The back wheel was spinning, shrieking, metal against metal. It was dark, I was almost out of gas, and there was no one to call.

I stood by the car considering my options, which were slim, when a truck pulled up and a young man came over saying, “My name is Kenny Crow. I’m a Christian and I’m going to try and help you.” He tried to move the car, but old Mercedes (she’s almost 30) wasn’t about to budge.

Two other pickups stopped. One of the men had what looked like a very large Ace bandage that he fastened to the back bumper and, with Kenny at the wheel, pulled the car to safety. Then Kenny slowly and carefully drove me home on that flat, with his father-in-law following in the truck. I am 83, on a walker and we had to do it that way.

Later that week Kenny stopped by to see that everything had worked out, noted that the tire was still flat and returned with a friend, Eduardo Lopez, who sacrificed his lunch hour to help. They took the tire off and came back with a beautiful replacement. When I tried to pay them, they said the cost was covered.

I’m writing this letter hoping that someone will see it and say, “That was my husband (brother, dad, son, friend) who made things right.” I want to especially thank you all on behalf of the engineer who didn’t encounter a surprise on the track, and for Mercedes, who deserves a better ending.

Mercedes and I lived happily ever after. Thanks, guys!

Elizabeth Phillips,


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