Good Samaritans

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2019

To the Editor:

On Wednesday, November 28 my husband and I were driving to Kinston to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary and were driving on Highway 13 when we hit a pothole and our right front tire blew out as well as cause damage to the rim. The shoulder was slanted down and narrow, so the driver’s side was very close to the road. We did not feel safe.

We were 45 minutes from Kinston, but there was no cell coverage, there was no signage to indicate where we were exactly so when I called AAA for help the calls kept breaking up and finally we had to text the contact at AAA who texted back and said that we were too far from him and I should call AAA back and find someone else to come and help us.

I was distraught, as after our scheduled dinner we had planned to drive on to Duke where my husband, who has Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer, was part of a clinical study of two drugs to hopefully give him a longer, healthier life and we couldn’t miss his appointments the next morning.

I didn’t know what to do when Sergeant K.R. Briggs of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol stopped to inquire what was going on. I relayed the story to him and he said that he would change our tire. He started the process when Mark Clark, who owns his own trucking business, stopped to assist Sergeant Briggs. Mark said that his son was also a trooper and so he was committed to helping troopers. These two angels saved our lives.

While we missed our reservation since we arrived in Kinston well past our reservation time and would be driving on a spare to Durham, they made it possible for us to make it to Durham for my husband’s procedures.

Before they said good-bye to us, Sergeant Briggs asked if we could all say a prayer together, which we were so touched to do. Finally, Mark Clark told us how to get to highway 64 since with no cell coverage, our GPS was not working. As we approached the entrance to 64, Mark’s truck was pulled off to the side of the onramp and he waved us down and told us he wanted to check the air in the spare to make sure we could safely get to Durham.

Without those two men, outstanding examples of the ultimate good Samaritans, we would have never made it. North Carolina is so privileged to have these citizens who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of visitors to North Carolina. Please share our commendation with your readers so they receive the recognition that they richly deserve.

Doralece and Bill Dullaghan

Virginia Beach, VA