On Friday, September 28, 2012, a girlfriend and I were driving southbound on I-75 when I suffered a blowout to the left front tire on my vehicle. I was traveling in the center of the three lanes just South of Exit 342 in Ocala. Since there were multiple vehicles in the right-hand lane, I was forced to pull to the median. I called AAA for help with the tire, but before the repair truck could reach us, a Florida Highway Patrol car pulled out of the traffic lane and stopped behind my little green Prius. I knew that our position on the median was very dangerous (it was quite frightening to be buffeted by the passing traffic), and I have never been so grateful to see a smiling FHP Officer. Officer I. Stokes was exceptionally kind, friendly and helpful. While we waited for the AAA service truck, Officer Stokes helped me remove the emergency spare from the trunk of my car and had even taken tools out of his car to try and change the tire himself. He advised me to reposition the car slightly to make the serviceman’s job a bit quicker, and he was very reassuring. The presence of his patrol car with lights going alerted other motorists to slow down as they passed, so we felt much safer than we had before he arrived. Officer Stokes helped me get safely back onto the Interstate in heavy Friday afternoon traffic after the AAA representative changed the tire, and we were able to pull off at the next exit to have the tire repaired.
I know that there are many who do not appreciate encounters with Florida Highway Patrol Officers, but I could not have been happier or more grateful for the help that Officer Stokes provided. Please let him know again how much I appreciated his kindness.
Carol Miller Franklin