On August 6, 2007, I was travelling from Miami, to my home in Orlando, when I got a flat tire, about 120 miles outside of Orlando.
I own a black, 2006 BMW 650i Coupe. BMW’s Roadside Assistance was useless, as they said that I would be towed back to Ft. Lauderdale, for them to honor my flat tire warranty. The state of Florida's roadside ranger was as nearly useless, as I waited somewhere between 3 to 3 ½ hours for them to arrive, only for them to say that there wasn’t anything that they could do about the run-flat tire. I remember the temperature was at least 95 degrees and sunny (not to worry… it was my birthday, and I was hanging-out on the side of the road, in a bathing suit, cowboy hat, flip-flops, smoking a cigar and reading a Newsweek).
Meanwhile, Officer Kamelle Smith had seen my car on the side of the road, when she stopped to check in on my situation. She was the person who originally called the roadside ranger to have them come to my assistance. Hours later, Officer Smith drove by again, and pulled over, and was obviously dismayed that I was still waiting for some roadside help. Since my car had run-flat tires, she encouraged me to follow her up to the next service station where I could, at least, get my car towed back to Orlando. This took about 45 minutes, as I couldn’t drive faster than 50 mph w/ the flat run-flat tire. While this flat tire was a minor inconvenience, I greatly appreciate that Officer Smith cared enough to take 45 minutes of her time to lead me to the nearest service station. When we got there, she rounded-up some assistance (it was obvious that everyone working there knows and likes her). Me and my car were towed back to Orlando, where I was finally able to meet-up with friends (still in my bathing suit, cowboy hat, and flip-flops) to celebrate my birthday dinner at a formal steak house (yes, they graciously allowed me to dine there, looking and smelling the way I did).
EVERY TIME I see a state trooper, Kamelle Smith comes to mind, in a very positive sense. Yeah, it’s good to see my tax dollars at work (at least from the Florida Highway Patrol), but it’s a nice feeling to know that there are state troopers who truly care about lending out a helping hand; not just nabbing and ticketing speeders (in which I’ve been guilty of more times than I care to admit).
PLEASE thank Officer Smith for me, and tell her of the indelible impression that she made.
Sincerely, Dan Bray