A Jacksonville couple are thankful to be alive after two AAA service providers rescued them from an icy mountain.
Earlier this year, newlyweds Wayne and Shirley Anne May were driving their recreational vehicle to a campground on a North Carolina mountain during their first trip as a married couple when the RV hit a patch of ice, slid nearly 80 feet down into the embankment and got stuck.
“I was petrified,” said Shirley Anne May. “All my worst nightmares were coming true.”
The couple tried to call for help, but no one would come until morning due to the strong winds and freezing temperatures.
“At this point, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning and we have a half tank of gas,” Wayne May recounted. “With 50-knot winds and 16 degrees out, if we run out of fuel, we’re gonna freeze.”
He then remembered he had AAA and called The Auto Club Group for assistance. AAA operator Kelvin Rivers spent hours searching for someone to help until he finally found Jason Miller, an AAA service provider with Hampton’s Body Shop in North Carolina.
“The roads were pretty treacherous, but I didn’t want to leave anyone stranded,” Miller recalled. “So I was going to try to make it happen.”
Shirley Anne May said that when Miller arrived, she was able to take a deep breath for the first time.
Miller was able to free the RV, but because the road was too narrow to turn around, Wayne May then had to back the RV downhill for more than a mile as Miller led the way to safety with his floodlights.
“Nobody else would help us, but AAA did,” said Wayne May. “They got us out of there. They didn’t tell us they can’t come up there, ‘We’ll see you tomorrow.’ That meant the world to us.”
This week, AAA presented Rivers and Miller with the “Hero Award” for rescuing the Mays. They also each received a $500 gift card.