July 25, 2013

7/18/13 - Shredded Tire

We blew a tire on I-78 about 12 miles east of Allentown, PA.  We were told I-78 is THE worst freeway in the state; we can definitely agree with that!

The front tire on the right side of the trailer was shredded! We were on a stretch of highway where it was merging to one lane for construction, and there was no safe place to stop.

We first stopped right in front of the arrow sign for the closed lane, then got out and moved one of the pylons so we could park in front of the sign.  As you can see, the shoulder is really narrow there, and we're more than halfway into the travel lane.
I was on the phone to Good Sam Emergency Road Service before we were completely stopped.   Problem was there was more construction behind us, so instead of one hour to get a tire truck to us, it took almost two!!!  George got out the spare tire while we were waiting (and praying).
After a while, George noticed that the construction crew had finished for the day and were retrieving their arrow signs and picking up the pylons in front of us. We'd  be stranded literally ON the freeway with no protection at all. Their contract said they had to leave by 3 PM.  George called 911 to talk to the state police, who said there were only 4 troopers in the area and it take an hour for one to get to us.  George said, "We could be dead by then."  (You have no idea how scary that is to overhear!)
While I'm wondering whether I'd stand a better chance in the truck or on the side of the road,  the construction guys moved behind us to pick up the arrow sign. (Maybe I could just start walking back the way we'd come?)  Finally they had to leave, but George convinced them to follow us with their lights flashing to escort us off the highway.  Driving very slowly, we found a pulloff about 1/2 mile up the road wide enough for us to get out of the travel lane.
 Eventually the tire guy showed up and changed the tire.
Right after he arrived, so did the state trooper. He and George had a nice little conversation before he drove off, apparently satisfied that he wouldn't have to write up a fatality accident report. 
You think prayers aren't answered? 

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