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Chivalry is not dead

by Susan
(Los Angeles)

I was recently in a car accident on the 405 freeway. Traffic was being reduced to less and less lanes causing traffic to slow until it reached me where it had come to a complete stop but the guy behind me hadn't noticed and so he plowed in to the rear end of my car so hard that the impact caused me to crash in to the car in front of me even though I had left buffer room of almost two(2)car lengths. CHP helped by removing the metal part of my rear bumper and using something to tie up the plastic, outer portion of the rear bumper so that it wouldn't drag when I drove away but before I reached the next exit something else fell and began scrapping on the road as I drove so I signaled to my friend ahead of me and we exited the freeway, slowly pulling in to a nearby gas station. It was my muffler that had fallen and there was no way I could drive that way so we made phone calls to friends but nobody was answering since it was so late at night on a week day. We asked other motorists who pulled in to the gas station, we asked the gas station attendant and we also asked a tow truck driver that had pulled in to buy a drink but nobody had a wire hanger or anything else we could use to tie and hold the muffler up.
An older, foreign guy had walked by shortly after we got to the gas station; he greeted us with a friendly, "hello," and we smiled as we repeated it back to him. An hour later, almost 3am we were still sitting there and I was contemplating a call to the insurance company to request roadside assistance when the same man came walking up from the direction he had walked away in earlier. He was with an elderly lady in a wheel chair and he had a couple of grocery bags in his hands. He said "hello again, " and as we repeated it back to him; he began to pass but then turned around and asked us if we needed help.
My friend asked him if he had a wire hanger, he told his friend to go ahead without him and he would catch up in a few minutes. He then came closer to me as I explained to him that I was just rear ended but the muffler fell after we left the scene of the accident. He dropped to the ground and used his hand to feel up above the location of the muffler and then he got up and said he found somewhere he could tie the muffler and he would be right back after he went home to grab something to use.
A few minutes later he returned, dropped to the ground and tied the muffler up so that it was no longer on the ground. While doing so I expressed to him how grateful we were, how we had been there an hour already and nobody had offered to help or suggest a solution. He agreed and then said that he's happy that he had been here to help.
He then advised me that his tie up job would last for a drive all the way to the east coast and back as long as I drive over bumps, dips and driveways real slow. He then directed us as to the best way to get back on track where we were going and he bid us a good night.

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